UPDATE: The city of Kennewick released a statement Sunday morning in response to an email sent by former Fire Chief Vince Beasley on Saturday.
The press release says that City Manager Marie Mosley had been working with former Chief Beasley in regards to performance and leadership concerns for an extended period of time. According to the city, they gave Beasley a retirement option but were unable to reach an agreement.
The press release goes on to say, "Due to his actions, former Chief Beasley has effectively resigned his position as the Fire Chief for the City of Kennewick effective immediately."
Police Chief Ken Hohenberg will take over as interim Fire Chief until the position is filled. The City of Kennewick will begin their search for a new Fire Chief with the Western Fire Chiefs Association immediately.
KENNEWICK, WA - Kennewick Fire Chief Vince Beasley says the City of Kennewick placed him on administrative leave without any warning, asking him to return keys and all city property.
In an email, Beasley says he complied with the request despite never receiving any formal termination papers.
Beasley says his email is in response to an email sent by Kennewick City Manager, Marie Mosley, on Friday talking about his potential retirement from the city. He says he had no plans of retiring.
Beasley's email reads, "On September 3rd, without any forewarning, I was verbally informed that I was being terminated and instructed not to attend that evening’s City Council meeting. Because I had been previously scheduled to give a presentation to the City Council on September 10th I was allowed to attend that meeting. On the 17th of September, I was presented with a “Separation Agreement” that I did not agree to, nor feel comfortable signing. Consequently, I was banned from that evening’s Civil Service and City Council meetings, and verbally placed on “Administrative Leave."
Beasley goes on to say he is perplexed by these events.
KNDU has reached out to both Beasley and Mosley for a comment. This is a developing story.