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March 7, 2014

Ex-fire official loses legal battle

EDMOND — An ex-fire official has lost his effort to get his job back after being fired due to allegations of gun play reported by a city employee.

On Oct. 7, 2011, Tim Wheeler, then-fire prevention chief and public information officer for the Edmond Fire Department, was placed on paid administrative leave after a city employee alleged Wheeler pointed a small-caliber pistol at another employee at one of the city’s fire stations.

Wheeler, who was hired by the city in 2001, maintained the allegation was not true. No criminal charges were ever filed.

The case ended up in the hands of an independent arbitrator with the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service. Both sides presented their cases during a closed-door hearing. Cost for the arbitrator was evenly divided between the parties.

Friday afternoon, City of Edmond Attorney Steve Murdock responded to an inquiry by The Edmond Sun regarding the status of the arbitrator’s decision. Murdock said the city has been advised by the arbitrator that Wheeler’s grievance was denied.

“We are pleased that this unfortunate situation is now behind us,” Murdock said.

James Moore, Wheeler’s attorney, could not be reached for comment Friday.

After Wheeler was placed on administrative leave, he received a total of $106,375.82 in gross pay. His annual salary was $100,027.

On Oct. 1, 2012, Wheeler’s employment with the city was terminated for just cause, the city said. The arbitrator was chosen from a list submitted by the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service. Parties agree in advance the chosen arbitrator’s decision will be final and binding.

marks@edmondsun.com | 341-2121, ext. 108



 

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