NOFD commissioners table chief's removal, discuss policy

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MATTHEW BROWN / News Bulletin
Published: Friday, October 19, 2012 at 12:56 PM.

CRESTVIEW — The North Okaloosa Fire Department board of commissioners on Thursday again tabled a decision to remove Fire Chief Ed Cutler. The decision came after the board discussed making changes to the department’s disciplinary policy.

 “We did have a disciplinary policy in place, but it did not address anyone other than staff that was under the chief,” board Chairperson Franklin Sauls said.

Sauls — who presented commissioners with a “tweaked” version of the policy — said his revision would give the board administrative authority. Under Saul’s revision, the chairperson would decide disciplinary action for a fire chief. The board treasurer would handle disciplinary action for those under the treasurer in the administrative level.

“(Discipline) of any other personnel would be handled by the chief,” Sauls said.

Commissioners Dan Bowers Jr., Craig Shaw and Sam Anderson discussed making other revisions to the policy. Commissioner Bill Terrell suggested contacting the attorney general's office for their input.

“I’m going to suggest that we refer this draft from the chairman to the lawyer (Jonathan Holloway) and have him come back with a draft next month that encompasses all of the concerns,” Anderson said.

Bowers, Shaw and Anderson discussed the policy thoroughly; however, after much discussion, the board tabled the matter until the next meeting. In addition, commissioners voted unanimously to table the chief’s removal until the disciplinary policy was finalized. 

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