A Senior Rochester Firefighter Has Been Fired
Rochester, MN (KROC AM News) - A rare action at Rochester City Hall Tuesday, something that hasn’t happened in at least 20 years, if not longer.
A senior member of the City Fire Department was fired.
The city Fire Civil Service Commission accepted a recommendation from Chief Eric Kerska to terminate a longtime captain. The decision came after the commission read and heard Kerska’s reasons to terminate Capt. Brennan Kelly, who has has been with the department for 26 years and a captain for more than 10 years.
Tuesday’s hearing centered on an emergency medical call last October involving an 11-year-old girl who was in urgent need of critical care.
Kelly was accused of confronting a Gold Cross medic twice at the scene and that led to an investigation. It found Kelly’s " inappropriate comments and unprofessional behavior" amounted to an interference with the girl’s treatment. Chief Kerska also told the commission Kelly has a history of misconduct that resulted in reprimands and an unpaid suspension. In closing comments, Kerska said Kelly "doesn't share our values."
But a lawyer representing Kelly told the commission his last reprimand was in October 2014 and that he was given two positive performances. She asked the commission to consider a 3 to 5-day unpaid suspension as punishment, arguing there were no grounds for termination "over some sarcastic comments."
The 56-year-old Kelly also addressed the commission, asking that it “please allow me to finish my career and retire in dignity.” But the commission voted unanimously to accept the termination recommendation.
Kelly can appeal the decision.