Cambria’s fire chief firing explained
June 5, 2011
The reasons Cambria Community Services District’s former manager gave for terminating the fire chief include not informing the service district’s general manager of a tsunami warning, talking to the press, and failing to keep performance evaluations up to date, according to a memo given to Miller after his firing. [Tribune]
Widespread outrage over General Manager Tammy Rudock’s firing of Fire Chief Mark Miller prompted the dismissal of Rudock and the reinstatement of Miller. Rudock refused to disclose her reasons for terminating Miller claiming employee confidentiality.
The reasons Rudock gave for Miller’s dismissal are listed in a three-page memo Rudock gave him April 12 and his four-page response, which Miller provided the Tribune.
Rudock wrote that Miller provided incomplete information for a February district meeting and that documents were not distributed until the start of the meeting.
Miller argued Rudock didn’t ask to review documents until two days before the meeting. Because of a family funeral and computer issues he said he was not able to get the documents to her before the meeting.
Rudock also said that Miller did not inform her of tsunami preparations ordered by the San Luis Obispo County Office of Emergency Services on March 11.
Miller contends he did inform her about the alert and that she chastised him for overreacting.
“I received a call from her at approximately 7:15 a.m. complaining to me that I was overreacting to the situation,” Miller wrote in a letter he shared with the Tribune. “She stated that ‘this is overblown. The last time, all we got was a little wave.”
One of Rudock’s longest memo entries claims Miller breached confidentiality rules when he talked to the press about a longtime fire department employee’s discharge in March.
Miller denied sharing the information with the press. The Tribune said the article was based on information provided by a former district employee.
“Despite our differences of opinion on this issue, your total lack of teamwork, communications and respect for me as general manager during this process has been so severe that our professional relationship and my trust in you as fire chief is permanently broken,” Rudock wrote in the memo shared with the Tribune.