Fire Chief Disappointed by Union Criticism

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By Rachel Begle

NEWTON, Iowa (AP) - A central Iowa fire chief says he's disappointed by the firefighters' vote of no confidence in him.

The Des Moines Register says the fire union voted Jan. 1 and notified Newton Fire Chief Jarrod Wellick two days later. He told the newspaper that he doesn't think he's done anything wrong.

A letter from the union president says Wellick has "fostered a work environment which continues to be contentious, demoralizing and displays a lack of leadership, lack of communication, dishonesty and has lost the trust of the members of the Local 1457."

Mayor Mike Hansen says he and city administrator Bob Knabel have perceived that Wellick "has performed at a very high level."

However, Hansen says the city will hire a third-party investigator to conduct fact-finding.

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