City of Lincoln
2006 Media Releases
PLACES ASSISTANT CHIEF ON ADMINISTRATIVE LEAVE
Mayor Coleen J. Seng today requested and accepted Fire Chief Mike Spadt’s resignation. In addition, she placed Assistant Fire Chief John Huff on administrative leave pending the outcome of an investigation regarding the new fire trucks.
“Within the last 24 hours, the Law Department received information from the Fire Maintenance Division contradicting previous assurances by Fire Department officials that the new fire trucks met all specifications,” said Mayor Seng. “Upon learning about the contradiction, I ordered two separate inspections of the new trucks by the Maintenance Division of the Public Works and Utilities Department. At the first inspection, Public Works maintenance officials reported they did not believe the frame cross support spec had been met. At the second inspection, Fire maintenance officials and Public Works maintenance together inspected a truck, and Fire maintenance officials did not dispute the Public Works conclusion.”
Chief Spadt, Assistant Chief Huff and Deputy Chief of Maintenance Dennis Klein previously had inspected the vehicles at the factory. Earlier this year, when anonymous allegations were made about the trucks, Fire Department administration officials repeatedly said the trucks met specifications.
“For months, the Fire Department management has assured us that these trucks met the specifications,” said Mayor Seng. “I am angry to find out now they don’t meet all of the specifications as we were previously assured and want to know why this was not reported when these trucks were inspected at the factory. I am very disappointed in the people involved. I will not tolerate misdirection, and it is not acceptable. Those who have participated in this misconduct will be disciplined or fired. I am directing the Personnel Director to conduct a thorough review of the allegations and recommend the discipline for the employees who were involved.”
Mayor Seng will name an interim Fire Chief. The position will be advertised, but the City will begin accepting applications immediately. Seng said those interested in the position should contact the Personnel Director. The Fire Chief is an at-will unclassified position that reports directly to the Mayor. Seng said the current Fire Chief job description would be reviewed to determine whether it should be updated.
The Mayor said she also directed the Law Department to contact EDM, Inc. who sold the trucks to the City to determine how they will bring the vehicles into compliance. Seven fire trucks were ordered, and the City has not yet made final payments for the last two vehicles because they were delivered late. The City already intends to charge penalties for the late delivery.