Vernon Firefighters Fume Over the Firing of Their Chief

By: Kate Eckman
By: Kate Eckman

"Why mess up something that works? It’s all personal," says Vernon firefighter Allen Downs.

But City Council President John Cook says it’s nothing personal.

"There s no personal vendetta at all. I don t know where they came up with that theory because I don t know who would have the desire to take their positions from them."

This isn't the only trouble Mayor James Boswell, who is also the town’s fire chief, has had with the council.

In June, council members tried to impeach Boswell as mayor over a city hiring dispute.

Firefighters, like Allen Downs, want an explanation, but say they aren’t getting a straight answer.

"We tried to get one from the council members to explain to us and his explanation went from one thing to another, and all we get out of them is lies."

But Cook says there were problems with Boswell and it was time for a change at the fire station.

"The reason for the change basically is there s a lot of information not being passed on to the city council."

This information supposedly included hiring firefighters without city council’s approval, and failing to conduct drug tests.

Cook went onto to say there were other questions, such as who was on the fire department staff, an inventory of fire department equipment, there’s a questionable bank account with the fire department. These are the primary things.

Cook also claims one firefighter has been driving without a valid driver s license, putting the city in-line for possible liability claims.

"We re trying to do the best we can for the people of Vernon and there’s no personal vendettas involved. Every time we‘ve tried to do something it’s been for the people."


8195 Front Beach Road Panama City Beach, FL 32407 Station: 850-234-7777 News: 850-230-5221 Fax: 850-233-6647
Copyright © 2002-2014 - Designed by Gray Digital Media - Powered by Clickability 3579252 - wjhg.com/a?a=3579252
Gray Television, Inc.