Chief retires; investigation ongoing

Published 10:31 pm Thursday, December 31, 2009

Though the retirement date of Austin’s fire chief came and went Thursday, an internal investigation into his workplace conduct was labeled as “ongoing” by a city official.

In a phone interview Thursday, city human resources director Tricia Wiechmann described the investigation as “ongoing” and said that it is “undetermined” when the investigation will be complete.

City officials have put the cost of the investigation at $8,041.

City officials have not confirmed the nature of the investigation, though multiple documents cite alleged unfavorable working conditions at the station.

The alleged negative work environment is cited in a complaint signed by an Austin firefighter in September, but local union president Chris Grunewald has said the investigation does not involve only one incident.

In addition, city councilman Steve King, along with council members Janet Anderson, Marian Clennon and John Martin, signed a document dated Aug. 21 requesting a meeting to discuss the situation at the fire department and also citing an allegedly poor work environment.

Wilson has denied allegations of creating a “hostile workplace” and has said the investigation has no merit. No findings have been released publicly, and Wilson has not been punished as a result of the investigation.