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After recently reading the story entitled “Garden Valley Fire responds to grand jury” dated July 22, 2010, I was awestruck and amazed at the concerns and comments made by the grand jury to the Garden Valley Fire District board regarding their fire chief, William Dekker. Ironically, these comments were almost exactly the same as those expressed by a court assigned mediator (a retired appellant court judge) during my own lawsuit involving this very same individual.
Comments referred to such as Dekker exceeding his authority, conflicts with district written policy and lack of consistency with personnel matters. Even more puzzling and horrific is the fact the Garden Valley Fire District board had discussed in closed session (per former board member Bob Rogers), Dekker’s past regarding his harassment lawsuits, convictions for drunk driving, passing bad checks and multiple driving violations.
I certainly hope the district has listened to the instructions set forth by the grand jury regarding properly screening and interviewing an employee prior to an offer of employment. It may well save the district (and the taxpayers) a few hundred of thousands of dollars in attorney and legal fees during their next hiring process for a new chief. The funds the fire board could save in needless legal fees could very well be spent on emergency apparatus and or equipment to protect the residents of the district as opposed to paying for the ignorance of one individual acting totally out of the scope of his contract and who has not yet learned by his past mistakes.
It would be interesting to learn in fact what training has been assigned by the board and who has attended these classes thus far, per the concerns and comment of the grand jury.
MARK L. BOYS