Jenks City Council investigates allegations against Fire Chief

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Reported by: Ian Silver
Updated: 10/22/2013 7:44 am Published: 10/21/2013 6:11 pm

All 17 members of the local firefighters union voted unanimously that they have "no confidence" in Chief Gary Friedel. Monday night, they brought their concerns to the Jenks City Council.

In a written statement, union officials say they have tried to work with city management since June to address problems with Friedel. They claim his mismanagement of the department over the past five years has put lives and public safety in jeopardy.

Among their complaints: neglecting to provide first year firefighters with a basic firefighter training during their first year, managing by intimidation, mismanaging staffing at the department's two station, using outdated standard operation guidelines, misleading the city council about preparedness and withholding valuable equipment already purchased for "vindictive purposes to leverage and implement needless procedures."

Monday night the union presented its vote of no confidence to the City Council and then asked them to inquire into the conduct of Friedel.

Residents of Jenks were concerned about the complaints and how the no confidence vote could affect fire service in town. However, none of the residents were willing to express those concerns on camera.

But the union's written statement says firefighters will continue to do their jobs well, despite the issues.

Fox23 news tried to reach Friedel for comment, as well as other city officials, but city attorney Stephen Oakley told us he has advised all city employees not to talk to media because it's a personnel matter. However, he did tell us city leaders believe Friedel has done a great job as chief.

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