SOUTH WEBER, Davis County â€” A contentious City Council meeting reached a fever pitch Tuesday when a volunteer firefighter promised that the entire department would walk out in the aftermath of the fire chief being asked to step down and the assistant chief being fired.
Fire Chief Thomas Graydon was asked to resign Monday after he said he would not fire Assistant Chief Frank Patrick for allegedly falsifying time cards, city officials said.
Patrick was fired as a result of those allegations.
Graydon said he initially planned to demote Patrick to the station of probationary firefighter but was later told by City Manager Tom Smith that he needed to fire him.
The chief said he reluctantly agreed after reviewing the matter a second time, but by that point, Smith had called a meeting with him and the mayor to ask him to step down. Graydon stepped down Monday evening.
The moves, particularly the city's request of Graydon to step down, earned widespread ire from firefighters and residents. Capt. Travis Nicholson, who the city had chosen to serve as interim chief, said he would not fill the post.
"At this time, I am going to decline that role," Nicholson said during Tuesday's City Council meeting. "I am also going to step down in my current role as captain (in) the fire department."
Volunteer firefighter Derek Tolman dropped another bombshell during the meeting, saying all city firefighters plan to leave their posts as a result of the decision to force Graydon's hand.
"As of Jan. 1, all current members of the fire department will no longer be members of this fire department," Tolman said.
Graydon told the Deseret News that the firefighters will leave their posts unless the city makes a fundamental shift in the way it deals with its fire department.
Graydon also addressed the City Council, saying he had dealt with his responsibilities as fire chief honestly.
"I have done that my (whole) life. I have done that for this city, and I believe the city has let me down completely," he said.