Call for Investigation on Fire Chief

Call for Investigation on Fire Chief
An investigation into the fire chief at East Valley may be launched after he was accused of lying to fire fighters, confirmed the chief on Tuesday.

The accuser is attorney Richard Bartheld of Yakima, the lawyer who represented volunteer fire fighter Kyle Jacobs, who was recently terminated for bad behavior.

"His attorney turned the whole thing around," said Chief Warren Gay.

In the formal complaint Bartheld accused Chief Gay of lying about Jacobs' fate as an East Valley fire fighter -- that the chief agreed he wouldn't recomment that Jacobs be terminated.

"The job performance that I put forward is acceptable and is serving the public," Gay said. "I'm getting angry in the fact that this just won't go away...."

Now Chief Gay could be investigated for the second time in his career, but Commissioner Dan McNulty says the chief has done nothing wrong, and that his past is irrelevant.

This is nothing new to Chief Warren Gay -- he's actually been investigated and fired before, but the chief says he's got nothing to hide.

Chief Gay said when he became chief at East Valley those who hired him knew about his past. He said he did nothing wrong then and he's done nothing wrong now.

"It's a different scenario," said McNulty regarding the chief's past. "When I put this man in this seat, no matter who it is, I will back them a hundred percent because I'm going to do my research before that person gets in that position."

"I back the chief wholeheartedly," said McNulty. "I don't have anything to hide and you know the chief doesn't."

The chief's hired an attorney to see him through the investigation, but it could be awhile before he knows his own fate.

The investigation into the chief is stalled until the board fills a vacant commissioner seat.

"I chose to come here, I was invited to come here and I intend to stay here," said Gay.

"When this is over we will have a chief in place and the chief that we have now will be here," McNulty said.

Jacobs said he couldn't speak without his attorney, Bartheld. Bartheld didn't return our call.

Riel, the other fire commissioner, did not return our call either before the newscast.