Investigation findings come a day late and fire chief short

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

The City of Mesquite recently investigated accusations of an inappropriate relationship in the Fire Department. The conclusion at that time was that the accusation could not be substantiated but the issue didn’t die there.

It was reported earlier by the MLN that city council actions were still being called for after months of allegations of sexual misconduct between management and employees. Multiple anonymous sources reported that then-Chief Kash Christopher wasn’t involved in the misconduct but didn’t do enough to stop it.

After special city council meetings were held concerning the subject, Christopher was presented with the ultimatum, quit or be fired.

Christopher chose to appear before the city council on May 16 and was ultimately terminated without cause in a 3-1 vote with council members David Ballweg, George Rapson and Brian Wursten voting in favor and Rich Green voting against. Gino Withelder abstained.

There is much speculation about why city council members chose to ignore the findings of the first investigation and terminate Christopher before launching the independent investigation and especially before receiving the results.

Christopher maintained his position that if there wasn’t enough proof for the city to substantiate the accusations over a year ago, there wasn’t anything that he could stop it and that the whole process of his termination was nothing more than a witch hunt.

After the termination, the city did hire Mark Olson, a consultant who works for the Simmons Group, a human resources organization based in Las Vegas, who conducted an independent study for the city. Olsen interviewed 22 staff members in the fire department. His conclusion was that there was insufficient evidence to corroborate the claim of an inappropriate relationship. The same conclusion that Christopher, himself, had come to expect.

Mayor Alan Litman said it all on the day that Christopher was terminated, “The actions today by this city council will only serve to create another black eye and will accomplish nothing to better our city.”

According to multiple Mesquite citizens who have spoken to the MLN about the situation and don’t particularly care about remaining anonymous, the Mayor was right.

The issue is now closed, and the city plans no further action.

Comments

  1. Joey Martin says:

    Unfortunately it is the Citizens of Mesquite that are going to suffer with the loss of a stellar, thorough fire chief. Good luck trying to find someone to replace Chief Christopher no fire chief in his/her right mind would get involved with dirty local politics.

  2. Cindi Delaney says:

    This is the second Fire Chief that has been fired over sexual allegations. It’s time for people to clean the boards out of their own eyes before they start picking at specks in someone else’s eye,

  3. Michael Stilley says:

    Maybe at the next election we can “terminate without cause” those council members who voted to fire the chief even though there was no evidence against him. Mayor Litman is correct. A huge black eye for Mesquite.

  4. Cindi Delaney says:

    Only David Ballweg will be up for re-election. Keep that in mind.

  5. Steve Clutterham says:

    Two out three of the votes to fire chief Christopher were newly elected council members. These two seem to be have personal ideas and agendas about how this city should be lead and that we should all abide by their very narrow minded, ultra conservative morals and views on right and wrong. Actually proving anything inappropriate ever happened or how chief Christopher handled it didn’t seem to be important to them. They acted prematurely in yielding their power and should have waited for the results of the independent investigation. Huge mistake, huge.
    Their other complaint was that his wife lived I believe in Henderson and that chief Kristopher did not meet the residency requirement. Pure nonsense based on the fact the he rented a condo from the mayor and was constantly seen shopping, dining and living in town. Going to his wife’s home out of town on his days off means nothing. What would they said if he was single and living here but dating a woman in St, George where he would spend his days off there with her? I don’t see a difference.
    Chief Kristopher was one of only 12 people certified in the U.S. at his level. Does anybody think any of the other 11 are unemployed and willing to move here and make considerably less than they could almost anywhere else? I seriously doubt it. Also, do you think any chief wants to take this job considering we now lost 3 chiefs in a very short time, 2 of them fired without cause? Again. I doubt it.
    One of them must run for re-election in 2018, let’s all make sure we do not forget about this huge blunder when we vote next year. The other one has 3 years to hope you forget about this before he has to run again. I will remember to refresh your memory as that time approaches.
    My guess is now that instead of paying 1 of the most qualified chief’s in the country to run our fire department, we will end up paying him NOT to. Good move guys.
    And just for the record, these opinions are mine and mine alone. You of course are welcome to form your own opinions.

  6. Judi kvachuk says:

    I agree. We will end up stuck with a mediocre fire chief and paying dearly for the premature actions of our councilmen.

Speak Your Mind

*