Cambria’s fire chief firing explained

June 5, 2011

Tammy Rudock

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.



  1. justme says:

    I’ve dealt with her, and as the report indicates, the chick was really intent (paranoid) on keeping that big check coming. Kudos to Cambria residents. We, in Los Osos threw our CSD out in one big toss, it felt wonderful. They were as ridiculous and obvious as Ruddock.
    Now, when do our neighbors in San Luis get up off their behinds and at least start asking some questions of some of their “there only for the power/money” public servants??

    (4) 4 Total Votes - 4 up - 0 down
    • r0y says:

      …oh, NEVER… if they have a (D) after their name, they’re in like Flynn! Just look at our disgraceful mayor, Jan Marx. (D) = union lackey, and SLO is basically a union town, but not in the historical sense; we’re a new union town! (i.e. public union).

      ‘Course, the same could be said about Santa Maria, except with the (R) after the names… people just need to clear their heads, and stop drinking the Kool Aid.

      (-1) 5 Total Votes - 2 up - 3 down
      • justme says:

        Nicely nailed, r0y. Jobs, any and all, critical and obviously futile will be fiercely protected from now forward and morality will be the first thing we’ll lose. I guess every nation gets a turn. Tough to watch, eh?

        (3) 3 Total Votes - 3 up - 0 down
  2. willie says:

    There was a time for men executives to wear red ties with very expensive suits and for woman to wear red. For men it symbolize or represents executive level power, prestige, underlined with arrogance, pride, ego (whatever they can fake to make it or get away with).

    (-1) 1 Total Votes - 0 up - 1 down
  3. Newsie says:

    Another overpaid GM trying to throw around their weight just because they can. I’m glad Miller got his job back.

    (15) 15 Total Votes - 15 up - 0 down
  4. r0y says:

    Aw… someone had their toes stepped on. Suck it up, princess, you’re over-paid.

    (21) 23 Total Votes - 22 up - 1 down

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