Residents demand answers after fire chief let go - WNEM TV 5

Residents demand answers after fire chief let go

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(Source: WNEM) (Source: WNEM)
CLAYTON TOWNSHIP, MI (WNEM) -

He faced the heat from the local fire board and now he has officially been fired by township trustees.

Many residents can't understand why and are demanding answers.

"There was no reason why they should have let this chief go," one Clayton Township resident said.

The township leaders fired Fire Chief Brent Cole, who served for 21 years, without saying why.

"He's one of the reasons I stayed on the fire department for 15 years," one firefighter said.

In September, the fire board voted to remove Cole.

At a meeting on Thursday, trustees could have reversed that decision. Instead, they voted 7-0 to get rid of him.

"It's an at will employment at this time and that's all I'll say on the matter," Township Supervisor Chris Gehringer said. "The explanation is that he's an at will employee and as such I've been advised by my attorney not to speak on the subject."

Residents are demanding answers.

"You gotta give somebody a reason why you're going to do something to them. You can't just up and do it and tell them and say 'oh, we're not gonna tell you. We're not gonna put it in writing or anything,'" said Dave Ballard, township resident.

Gehringer said the township will be looking for a new chief.

Cole said his future options are open.

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