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.