North Lyon Fire chief Huntley resigns

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Robert Perea, The Fernley Reporter

The North Lyon County Fire Protection District Thursday evening accepted the resignation of chief Scott Huntley and agreed that the results of an investigation of complaints against Huntley will remain sealed and confidential.

In his letter of resignation addressed to board chairman Vern Watson, Huntley said his resignation was effective at 5 p.m. December, 13. Huntley’s current contract was scheduled to expire in April.

Watson opened the agenda item during Thursday’s meeting of the fire district’s Board of Directors by announcing Huntley’s resignation and reading a prepared statement that the parties had agreed to keep the Report of Investigation and all related documents sealed and confidential.

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“The employment relationship between Mr. Huntley and the District has ended and all related matters have been resolved to the Parties’ satisfaction. The parties have specifically agreed that the Report of Investigation and all related documents involved in this personnel matter shall be sealed and shall remain completely confidential,” Watson’s statement read.

The board voted 5-0 to accept Huntley’s resignation, and also scheduled a special meeting at 5 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 20 to determine hiring policies and an interim plan to replace the chief and decide other administrative matters, including who will perform inspections and plan checks.

Board member Pat Hon also suggested that as board chairman, Watson act as interim chief until Jan. 10 or until an interim chief is named. Watson said in the role of interim chief, he would direct the district’s three captains to lead the district for operational purposes, while he and Hon, as chairman and vice chairman of the board, would handle administrative duties.

Huntley was named chief on March 20, 2014 from a final pool of three candidates that included George Quick, interim director of the University of Nevada, Reno Fire Science Academy in Carlin, and Brett Ruff, who at the time was working at what he called a highly classified top secret location in Nevada. A total of 13 candidates applied for the chief position in 2014, and the district tested seven candidates.

The board on June 14 voted to hire the firm Gladding & Michel to investigate allegations and rumors leveled against Huntley by the Firefighters Association, members of the board and the public.

Many of the complaints against Huntley came from a Vote of No Confidence letter submitted by the Firefighters Association against Huntley, that listed several complaints that the union charges have resulted in stagnation of the district, failure to provide optimal service to the community and substandard safety for staff.

Among the complaints in the union’s No Confidence letter were that Huntley has failed to capture additional revenue sources for the district, provide a direction or future plan for the district, develop and maintain positive working relationships with the city of Fernley and surrounding agencies, demonstrate knowledge of the district’s budget, demonstrate appropriate fireground safety and maintain a positive working relationship with the union.

The list of items the district requested Gladding & Michel investigate was:

*Investigate the items listed in the Vote of No Confidence Letter from the firefighters association

*Investigate the time cards and calendar of the chief from July 31, 2017, through Aug. 1, 2018.

*Investigate whether Huntley has been doing contract work for the State Fire Marshal’s Office while on District time and using the District vehicle.

*Investigate the fire inspection of director Dan McCassie’s business by Albert Ruiz from the State Fire Marshal’s Office. McCassie believed the inspection was unethically conducted due to a conversation between Huntley and the inspector prior to the inspection.

*Investigate the denial of a fire permit for the Lantern Festival as requested by McCassie.

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