The ongoing saga we have reported on over the last year or so continues in Menomonee Falls, WI. We brought you the stories of how at some points they were operating with a single operating fire engine for a community with 5 fire stations. All others were out due to maintenance and break downs. Then the story of severe staffing shortages within the organization lead to closing of firehouses. This was all brought to the public’s attention and the public responded demanding answers. Well during those meetings new information has surfaced that the Village Manager had made the comment about bringing a gun to these meetings. More on the story below.
WTMJ – “According to documents obtained by WTMJ Radio, Mark Fitzgerald alluded to bringing a gun to Village Hall during a meeting with members of the Menomonee Falls Fire Department (MFFD) back on August 27th, 2019.
Fitzgerald made the comments during a discussion about applying for a SAFER Grant as well as attempting a referendum that would help fund 24 additional fire fighters, according to people in the room who’ve been interviewed by WTMJ but wished to remain anonymous due to fear of reprimand.
“I don’t want anyone stepping up to the microphone and saying we really want 45 (more firefighters), cause then, I bring a gun to the next meeting,” Fitzgerald said, per documents obtained by WTMJ. Following Fitzgerald’s comments on August 27th, a complaint was logged by Assistant Fire Chief James Mollet on August 28th.
Fitzgerald says he was contacted shortly after the complaint was filed and interviewed by Police Captain Jeff Knop. It was during that meeting that Fitzgerald said the comment was made in, “mock humor as part of my attempt to gain consensus on the staffing model.” It was also during this meeting that Fitzgerald told Captain Knop that he didn’t own a gun and had no access to a gun. Fitzgerald was not disciplined for his comments.
A day after the initial interview, Attorney James Macy of von Briesen & Roper, was hired to conduct a further investigation, which included an interview with Fitzgerald, as well as the three members of the MMFD in the room during the meeting in which the ‘gun comment’ was made.
The investigation by Macy was completed shortly after, and on September 10th, Fitzgerald says he received a letter that indicated he didn’t violate the Village’s Workplace Anti-Violence Policy and the matter was put to rest shortly thereafter.
Fitzgerald and Menomonee Falls Village President David Glasgow both refused to comment further on this situation, nor the investigation that followed. Members of the Menomonee Falls Village Board were also contacted for comment, but refused. The information in this story was obtained through interviews with village staff as well as through Freedom of Information Act filings.”…Continue Reading Here