The Edmond Sun

June 26, 2013

Ex-Edmond fire official’s case nears decision

Mark Schlachtenhaufen
The Edmond Sun

EDMOND — Both sides have until Aug. 5 to submit post-hearing briefs to the arbitrator mediating the employment dispute between Edmond and a former fire official, a city official said.

City Manager Larry Stevens said the hearing ended at 4:30 p.m. Tuesday. He did not want to comment further about the proceedings.

On Oct. 1, 2012, six days from being one year on paid administrative leave, the city terminated then Fire Prevention Chief Tim Wheeler. Both the city and the Edmond Police Department investigated allegations involving a gun and another Edmond Fire Department employee at the agency’s administration office. No formal charges were filed against Wheeler.

In a previous report, Stevens said Wheeler was terminated for just cause.

While Wheeler was placed on leave, he received was $106,375.82 in gross pay from the city. His annual salary was $100,027. He was hired in 2001. In additional to fire prevention duties, Wheeler was the EFD’s primary press contact.

James Moore, Wheeler’s attorney, said the hearing consisted of three full days of testimony. Moore said 116 exhibits were entered into evidence; three of them were on behalf of his client. He was up against three attorneys working for the city, Moore said.

Moore said both sides will receive the hearing transcript, which they will review before drafting the post-hearing paperwork to be turned into the arbitrator. Wheeler wants to be reinstated by the city and he is seeking unspecified compensation.

The city had the burden of having to prove the allegations are true, Moore said. During the hearing, when witnesses testified, some of the facts changed, Moore said. | 341-2121, ext. 108