North Las Vegas fire chief placed on leave
North Las Vegas Fire Chief Al Gillespie has been placed on administrative leave. Video by ktnv.comvideo
North Las Vegas, NV (KTNV) -- It's been a tumultuous few months at North Las Vegas city hall. Now, the top fire official has been placed on paid administrative leave.
The city said they put fire chief Al Gillespie on leave because of an incident that occurred during a training exercise, but the firefighters' union said the move was in retaliation for Gillespie's lack of support for the city's budget cuts.
On Friday, Gillespie's former second in command, Kevin Brame, spoke out on Gillespie's behalf.
Brame, the former deputy fire chief, said his job was cut in the wake of the budget battle, and that he doesn't believe the city's fire team will be able to respond effectively under what he described as Draconian cuts.
The firefighter union's president said the city placing the chief on paid leave is a cover-up in order to remove him from the decision-making process.
"Those are convenient excuses, the reality is that you have two top professionals in the fire industry saying, that I can not recommend these cuts," Fire Captain and union president Jeff Hurley said. "One is then later released, and the second one is now on paid administrative leave for some silly excuse that they're making up that had nothing to do with the fire chief whatsoever. It's just a convenient excuse."
A spokesperson for city manager Tim Hacker said the decision to place Gillespie on paid leave has nothing to do with the budget, and was based solely on an incident that occurred during a training exercise.