Disatisfaction among employees of the Mesquite Fire Department apparently was the final straw that led to the end of Fire Chief Kash Christopher’s employment with the city. Sources confirmed to the Mesquite Local News on Tuesday that Christopher was given the option to resign or be fired.
As of Wednesday morning, May 3, sources said Christopher indicated that he intended to resign and was negotiating a severance package.
Christopher did not return phone calls from the MLN.
The vote comes after months of allegations of sexual misconduct between management and employees in the department that led to a full investigation by city officials.
Christopher was not accused of any misconduct in the investigation. However, some employees alleged that he did not do enough to stop it.
According to multiple vetted sources who requested anonymity, the alleged misconduct continued and was one of “tripwires” that led to the current action.
No information was available to the MLN regarding the outcome of the alleged misconduct by members of the fire department.
“Obviously, this is a human resources matter and it would be inappropriate to comment on the situation,” Mesquite City Manager Andy Barton told the MLN.
During city budget hearings in May 2016, several councilmen raised the issue of Christopher not complying with a clause in his employment contract that requires him to live within 15 miles of Mesquite. Christopher insisted at the time that he does live in Mesquite. He also said his wife lives in North Las Vegas and he splits his time between the two locations.
While that issue was never fully resolved, sources said it was part of the decision to remove the fire chief from his position.
Christopher was hired as the Mesquite Fire Department Chief in June 2014. According to TransparentNevada.com, he received $99,058 in salary with additional benefits bringing that to a total of $157,047.
During the 2016 budget hearings, Christopher was granted a 20 percent pay increase that became effective on July 1, 2016, bringing his current salary to $112,794.
The Fire Chief’s contract calls for three months’ full pay should he resign. If he is terminated for cause (fired) he would not receive any severance pay.
Multiple sources with the city told the MLN on Tuesday that Christopher would be placed on administrative leave pending a final action and that “one way or another, he’s done.”