15 Sep 2014
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Tri-State Fire Board Calls Special Meeting for Wednesday

Trustees expected to hold closed session to discuss staffing, possible appointments of deputy chiefs.

Tri-State Fire Board Calls Special Meeting for Wednesday

The Tri-State Fire Protection District’s board of trustees have schedule a special meeting for Wednesday starting at 6:30 p.m. The meeting will be held at Station #3, 10 S. Madison St. in Burr Ridge.

According to the public notice, the board of trustees will be meeting in closed session to discuss “the appointment, employment, compensation, discipline, performance or dismissal of specific employees of the public body or legal counsel for the public body, including hearing testimony on a complaint lodged against an employee of the public body or against legal counsel for the public body to determine its validity.”

Possible board action in open session includes the appointments of William Just and Edward Gergits to the position of deputy chief.

The Tri-State Fire Protection District came under the fire of the Better Government Association when an investigation revealed several instances of pension spiking among fire officials over the past decade.

The BGA also claims that former district fire chief Michelle Gibson negotiated a resignation agreement before vacating the office that will earn her $136,000 at the end of this year, mostly from unused vacation and sick days.

Gibbons is in a civil union with Tri-State Fire Protection District Trustee Jill Strenzel, who with the other trustees, unanimously approved the taxpayer-funded package, the BGA alleged.

An attorney who specializes in negotiating employment contracts and disputes -- Shawn Collins -- labeled the agreement “ridiculous” and said “he’s never heard of anyone getting paid in 2014 for an unused sick day from 1989,” NBC Chicago reported.

Wednesday’s special meeting agenda also includes public comments from the audience.

The Tri-State Fire Protection District serves parts of Darien, Willowbrook, Burr Ridge and Willow Springs.

This story has been updated.

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