Vernon Fire Chief Resignation

Vernon Fire Chief Resignation
Source Kauz

The circumstances surrounding the Vernon fire chief's resignation are still unclear. Marcus Smith had only held the top spot since October before resigning last Friday. The question is why?

Mayor Joe Rogers says he was met with resistance when he tried to talk to the firemen about the events leading up to Smith's resignation. Mayor Rogers is saying City Manager Joe Jarosek told the firemen not to talk about the inner workings of the fire department with elected officials...
But Jarosek says he never instructed the firemen not to speak to city commissioners.


The statement that I told them not to discuss inner-workings is opposite of what I have told the firemen and other department members and other staff, meaning the entire city.

Jarosek says he told city officials he encourages them to approach city employees and inquire about the procedures, inner workings and functions. He says the better understanding that the commissioners have, the more informed they are and the better choices they'll be able to make. He says he gave the mayor and commissioners as much information about the resignation as privacy laws allow.

Jarosek confirms Smith was absent when state inspectors from the Texas Department of Health Services arrived to conduct an inspection at the firehouse on February 25th, but says the findings of that inspection had nothing to do with Smith's resignation, adding that there were several issues involved - which he would not disclose - but says those issues lead to a mutual parting.

Mayor Rogers told Newschannel 6 he wants answers because he wants to be transparent with the residents of Vernon.

Captain JJ Oznick is acting as interim fire chief until a new chief is hired.

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