City of Ottumwa Parts Ways with Three Firefighters After Investigation

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The city of Ottumwa announced Monday afternoon it has completed its investigation into the Ottumwa Fire Department and have fired three firefighters.

According to a press release, Firefighters Derek Fye and Dillon McPherson plus Captain Bill Keith have been relieved of their duties effective immediately.

The city says McPherson has decided to resign in lieu of termination. He and Fye were let go due to “actions and behaviors that violated department rules, safe practices, and the values and standards of the City of Ottumwa.”

Keith was fired for what the city describes as a “failure to adequately lead those under his command and displaying an attitude of indifference toward holding employees accountable to the values and standards of the department and the city of Ottumwa.”

In May, the Ottumwa City Council approved the hiring of Des Moines-based Dentons Davis Brown PC to investigate the fire department. The reason for the investigation was not disclosed.

“We take all instances of misconduct very seriously. This decision was not made lightly. We expect all employees to adhere to our city’s policies and maintain the highest standards of conduct and professionalism. We are taking all necessary steps to ensure that the city remains a safe and ethical environment for our staff.” City of Ottumwa Press Release (July 31)

According to the city, it will look to temporarily distribute the responsibilities among the remaining staff as it looks for permanent replacements for the three departed employees.

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