Fire district to select recruitment firm for chief

(Daily Miner file photo)

(Daily Miner file photo)

KINGMAN – The Northern Arizona Consolidated Fire District is looking at hiring a recruitment firm in its search for a new fire chief to replace Wayne Eder, whose was fired in May.

The board of directors postponed action Thursday on selecting a firm until the next regular meeting or special meeting so directors could review proposals from 10 firms that responded to the job request.

“Some of them are pretty lengthy,” interim Fire Chief Tim King said. “You’ll want to take some time to read them and come back.”

After the appointment of two new members, the board voted 4-0 at a special meeting in May to fire Eder, whose contract was set to expire Dec. 6. He was hired by a controversial 3-2 vote in March 2017 at an annual salary of $95,000, and previously served from 2003-2008. Eder was indicted for conflict of interest regarding work on a fire truck at an automotive repair shop owned by former board director Vic Riccardi, and was blamed for botched firefighting procedures at a fire on Snavely Avenue, including the dispatch of an empty water tender.

The board also voted Thursday to place an advertisement in the Daily Miner for one week to find a replacement for Patti Lewis, who resigned from the board after the appointments of Erik Berg and Carl Hays. Her term was set to expire in September.

A special board meeting is set for 6 p.m. July 10 to appoint the new director, who would then have to file a petition with Mohave County Elections Office by Aug. 8 to seek election to the board.

In the call for public comment, private investigator Michael Boone of Lake Havasu City brought out several discrepancies related to the board’s actions and operations. He’s part of a group seeking to recall directors Mike Collins and Jim Bailey.

He called out Collins for telling the Daily Miner that investigations by the Arizona Attorney General’s Office, Yavapai County Attorney’s Office and FBI for open meeting violations have been closed. He wanted to see letters of exoneration.

Boone also questioned email correspondence between Bailey and Charlotte Wells before she was hired as NACFD’s attorney.

“You’re actually his personal lawyer. If those are board-related, then you’ve got problems with the open meeting law,” Boone said.

He then laid into the credibility of Hays’ resume, including his work with the San Diego Airport Advisory Council and his membership with the Antique Aircraft Association.

Boone said he called the manager of the airport advisory council and was told he’d never heard of Hays.

In response, Hays said he hasn’t lived in San Diego for quite a few years, and that none of the current members or managers remain from the 1980s when he served on the council.

In other action at the NACFD meeting, the board voted 4-0 to approve the $5.2 million budget for fiscal 2019, including $2.5 million for personnel costs and $1.9 million for contingency and capital.