The Edmond Sun

Local News

October 29, 2012

Ex-fire official seeks reinstatement

EDMOND — An ex-fire official recently fired by the City of Edmond has filed a formal grievance with the city and wants his job back, his attorney said Monday.

Earlier in the day, in response to an Open Records Act request submitted by The Edmond Sun, City Manager Larry Stevens cited personnel exemptions in explaining the city’s denial of a request for paperwork related to a grievance filed by former Assistant Fire Chief Tim Wheeler.

Stevens did, however, release two documents related to Wheeler’s dismissal. One was a short memo informing the fire official that he was being terminated for just cause effective Oct. 1, the day the memo was sent.

The second document informed Wheeler that he would be receiving his normal paycheck on Oct. 5, and on the next payday (Oct. 19) he would receive his last check. It stated that the last check would include eight hours pay for Oct. 1, 2012, plus pay for 185 hours of accumulated vacation and 44.5 hours of compensatory time.

Among those who received the documents were Wheeler’s attorney James Moore. Moore confirmed that his client has filed a formal grievance concerning his termination with the local chapter of the International Association of Firefighters, and that the local grievance committee is reviewing the facts.

Stevens said the city is awaiting the committee’s formal response.

Moore said his client wants to be reinstated in his former job and to recover financial loss for items such as pay and benefits. Regarding the outcome of the grievance, Moore said he fully expects the city to deny it. The next step would be to select a neutral arbitrator and schedule a hearing.

Moore said his client is extremely upset about this issue and wants to present it to someone neutral. He also wants his reputation restored. Moore said it’s sad the city took a year before taking the action it did.

“His termination was totally unjust,” Moore said.

 On Oct. 7, 2011,  Wheeler, who was then the city’s fire prevention chief and public information officer for the Edmond Fire Department, was placed on paid administrative leave after a city worker alleged that he pointed a small-caliber pistol at another employee. While he was on leave, the gross pay he received from the city was $106,375.82.

In 2011, Edmond Human Resources Director Anita Breen had just begun an internal investigation into the matter.

The alleged incident occurred Oct. 6, 2011, according to information released previously by the Edmond Police Department. At about 1:30 p.m. on that date, the agency received a call from a Fire Department employee who said he was aware of a “dangerous situation at Fire Station No. 5,” which he felt he had to report, police said. The caller went on to say he believed it had risen to a “criminal situation,” police said.

The reporting party said he had information that Wheeler had allegedly pulled a small-caliber pistol out of his back pocket and pointed it in the direction of a fellow employee, police said.

Wheeler has denied the allegations.

When The Sun last inquired earlier this month about the status of the Police Department’s investigation into the matter, the agency said it was ongoing. | 341-2121, ext. 108

Text Only
Local News
  • Oak Tree Official offers glowing update on Senior Open

    An official who has been in charge of tournaments since 2001 said the 2014 U.S. Senior Open is probably the best city event partnership he has seen.

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • Edmond soldier settles in housing benefits case

    U.S. Attorney Sanford C. Coats said Thursday a U.S. Army reserve soldier from Edmond has agreed to pay the government $20,000 to settle civil claims related to obtaining fraudulent housing benefits.

    April 17, 2014

  • Stevenson 1 Oklahoman returns home focused on pro-gay agenda

    Troy Stevenson remembers the day when football players discovered him and his boyfriend holding hands behind an Edmond high school. After they had been chased off school property, Stevenson, called to check on his boyfriend.
    “He was in hysterics,” Stevenson said. “… Like me, I thought he was scared. Did people see us? What would people think?”

    April 17, 2014 2 Photos

  • Lawn Experts’ tips can help your lawn bounce back

    Chances are your lawn is looking a bit bedraggled after this rough winter.
    That’s not surprising. Between brutally cold temperatures and drying winds, turf took a beating this year.

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • Gracelawn grows larger

    The Edmond City Council voted 5-0 in favor of the city purchasing 20.5 acres of land immediately to the north of Gracelawn Cemetery. Purchasing the property is needed for future expansion of the cemetery, Mayor Charles Lamb, said.
    Gracelawn Cemetery is owned and operated by the city and is located on the northwest corner of Danforth and Boulevard.

    April 17, 2014

  • Warmth needed to grow tomatoes

    The time for those growing tomatoes in their garden is when the soil temperature is above 60°F and fear of frost has past. We are generally safe from frosts after April 5.  However, frosts have occurred as late as May 1 in the Oklahoma City area. If you planted your tomatoes on or before April 5 last year you would have covered them several times as there were several late frosts. If you plant early, be ready to cover your plants during nighttime frosts.

    April 17, 2014

  • Debate Senate hopefuls meet in first debate

     Accountability to the American people and the $17.5 trillion debt continues to be a major issue in the race for U.S. Senate office being vacated by retiring U.S. Sen. Tom Coburn.
    The Oklahoma Conservative Political Action Committee hosted a debate Wednesday for three of the seven Republicans running for the U.S. Senate seat that is being vacated by retiring U.S. Sen. Tom Coburn.

    April 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • Oklahoma City FC invites fans to design club scarf

    Oklahoma’s top-tier soccer club, Oklahoma City FC, invites soccer fanatics across Oklahoma to be a part of its future by designing its scarf.
    Scarves are a tradition among soccer clubs and are typically a team’s most recognizable accessory. Scarves are a matter of pride for hard-core supporters and feature team colors, logo and inspiring slogans. Scarves are a part of a team’s identity.

    April 16, 2014

  • MS_injection well.jpg Agency clarifies earthquake-related misinformation

    A state agency says misinformation related to the debate about the cause of more earthquakes across Central Oklahoma includes oil well types, well numbers and injection pressure.
    The Prague sequence of 2011 along the Wilzetta Fault zone included a significant foreshock, a main shock of magnitude 5.7 and numerous aftershocks. It has been suggested that this sequence represents tremors triggered by fluid injection.
    More recently, earthquakes have been recorded in the vicinity of Jones, Arcadia Lake, Edmond, Guthrie, Langston and Crescent. Regulators and scientists are working together to better understand what’s causing all the shaking.

    April 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • Sheriff seeks items for agency history project

    If you have historic pictures or artifacts related to the Oklahoma County Sheriff’s Office, the agency is asking the public to share them.
    “The Oklahoma County Sheriff’s Office is working on a history project. If you, your family, friends or acquaintances have any old photos or artifacts related to the OCSO we would love to have them or a digital copy,” said Oklahoma County Sheriff John Whetsel.

    April 16, 2014

Featured Ads
NDN Video

Do you agree with a state budget proposal that takes some funds away from road and bridge projects to ramp up education funding by $29.85 million per year until schools are receiving $600 million more a year than they are now? In years in which 1 percent revenue growth does not occur in the general fund, the transfer would not take place.

     View Results