The City of Kaplan is looking for a new fire chief, after the city council fired Jacob Mathiew.
During the special meeting on Monday, the former fire chief says he was terminated for alleged malfeasance in office. He claims his termination stems from a personal vendetta with the mayor.
"The best step for our fire department is to start anew,” said Kaplan Mayor Mike Kloesel.
“He's kind of a bully when he doesn't get his way and I'm not one to back down from people. He really doesn't do things by the book. He's kind of underneath on everything,” said Mathiew.
Jacob Mathiew is fighting back against his termination. In an executive session, which was posted to Facebook, the city claims Mathiew violated department policy.
"One of the biggest issues that we have to deal with is the issue of a GPS tracking device that are on all of the city emergency vehicles including the fire chief's city issued pick up truck. At some point, that GPS device was removed from the city owned pick up truck and placed onto the fire chief's personal vehicle,” said Kaplan Mayor Mike Kloesel.
Mathiew has been chief for 13 years, and doesn't dispute that allegation.
"It's like I told them in the meeting, I'm supposed to respond to all the calls, I'm always on call. At some point, my truck went in the shop. I took it out of the work truck and put it in my personal truck and just forgot to put it back,” said Mathiew.
After the meeting, KATC spoke with Mayor Kloesel about Mathiew's termination. He only confirmed that Mathiew was terminated but gave no further details. Mathiew says He plans to hire an attorney to fight the termination.
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