Images of Kitsap County
Public Communications (MS-11)
614 Division Street, Port Orchard, WA
Phone: 360.337.4598
 
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Date: March 3, 2006
Contact: PJ Callahan
Phone: (360) 337-4481
No. 06-16

County Fire Marshal's Office Employees Resign/Terminated

PORT ORCHARD, WA—Kitsap County announced today the resignation of Derrick Crawley, Fire Marshal, and the termination of two Deputy Fire Marshals. All three have been on paid administrative leave while the county reviewed the results of an independent audit conducted by Deborah Diamond Consulting of Seattle. Crawley, who had previously been issued a pre-termination letter and had submitted a response, elected to resign before a decision was made regarding his status. The county then closed the termination proceedings against Crawley.

“As with any organization, there are procedures the county must follow when we consider termination of employment,” said Rob Gudmundson of the county’s Personnel & Human Service Department. “We owe it to our employees to thoroughly investigate any situation before making a decision regarding terminating their employment, which is why these three particular employees were put on paid administrative leave. While it is always regrettable when we have to terminate anyone, we owe it to the public to make the best decisions possible and then move forward.”

In reference to the two Deputy Fire Marshals, who are union-represented employees, Gudmundson added: “We do not know whether or not they will appeal the Department of Community Development’s action.” Under the collective bargaining agreement, the Deputy Fire Marshal terminations may be appealed to the County Administrator and possibly to a grievance arbitrator jointly selected by the county and the union.   

The county took the initial step to start regrouping last week when the County Administrator and staff met with the five local districts and the Sheriff’s department to develop a logistical plan of action to continue to provide fire inspection and investigation services to Kitsap County citizens and businesses.

“While it has been our intention for quite some time to explore opportunities for working in collaboration with the fire districts to improve the efficiencies of our county fire inspection and permitting processes, these events have worked as a catalyst to move discussions to the next level,” said Cris Gears, County Administrator. “Thanks in large part to the efforts of our local fire district professionals, most of the short-term operational logistics have been worked out for the interim to keep services going and protect public safety. Our next step is to meet with the policymakers in early April to brainstorm more long-term solutions.”

County Commissioner Chris Endresen agreed with Gears: “While it is unfortunate circumstances exacerbated the situation in the Fire Marshal’s office, this is a good opportunity for us to step back and take a look at possible partnering solutions to providing services more efficiently to the citizens of Kitsap County.”
 


To contact the Kitsap County Public Information Office, 
call PJ Callahan at 360-337-4481 or email: pjramos@co.kitsap.wa.us

Last Updated:  May 27, 2014