Archive for Thursday, December 16, 2004

Fire chief issue resolved

December 16, 2004

More than three months after his arrest on criminal damage charges, Fire Chief Spencer McCabe's employment with the city of Eudora ended earlier this week.
City Administrator Mike Yanez said McCabe's employment was terminated as of Tuesday.
After meeting in private session -- as is allowed in personnel issues -- the Eudora City Council voted Nov. 8 to direct city staff to continue taking action in the matter of McCabe's employment with the city. As a personnel issue, Mayor Ron Conner couldn't specify what that action was but rather said the city had to execute a "due process."
As a personnel issue, Yanez couldn't discuss the details of the termination. However, he said McCabe wasn't given a severance package. The chief had been suspended without pay since Sept. 14.
Previously, he was suspended with pay following his Aug. 29 arrest. City procedures require an arrested employee to notify his or her supervisor. Following notification, Yanez made the administrative decision to suspend McCabe with pay until the Council met. The Council voted later to suspend him without pay.
Authorities arrested McCabe Aug. 29 after staff at an Olathe hotel called police, alleging McCabe caused more than $1,000 in damage to a bathroom.
The local fire chief's arrest sparked media attention in Lawrence and Kansas City and raised questions about the actions of other city employees at the hotel who, along with McCabe, were celebrating a family birthday party. In September, Yanez issued a statement assuring that no other guests were involved in the incident, taking to task those who "escalated the story."
On Oct. 28, McCabe pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor charge of criminal damage to property and was sentenced to one year of probation in Johnson County District Court.
Yanez said the city's deputy fire chief, Mike Underwood, was in charge as he had been since McCabe's suspension. The Council will discuss filling the fire chief position at its Dec. 27 meeting, Yanez said. The Council meets at 7:30 p.m. at Eudora City Hall, 4 E. Seventh St.

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