Tuesday, December 6th, 2016

Who knew how they treat their subordinates is a fireable offense?

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Waukesha Mayor Jeff Scrima and City Administrator Ed Henschel are determined to fire new Waukesha Fire Chief Jesse Alba. We don’t know yet the substance of the complaint that’s been filed with the fire and police commission. We will have to wait until the various open records requests have been fulfilled. However, Waukesha Patch has a hint of what is to come:

The investigation began in early June and is related to an issue from before Alba was named chief, according to Henschel.

“The investigation as done by an outside, independent person,” Henschel said. “It was not done internally.”

Waukesha Patch has filed an open records request seeking more information about the violations. Scrima has deferred the open records request to local attorney Stan Riffle.

Allegations surfaced after Alba was named fire chief, Patch’s media partners at WISN 12 News is reported.

“How the chief was dealing with internal personnel over which he had supervisory responsibility,” Henschel told WISN 12 News.

Alba was promoted to fire chief by the PFC on May 7 after being selected out of 49 applicants.

{emphasis added – JW}

It’s interesting that Mayor Jeff Scrima has taken such an interest in this case when, shortly after he took office, there were real concerns how Scrima dealt with subordinates to the point where his supervisory authority over the previous city administrator was taken away from him by the Waukesha Common Council.

It will be very interesting if the precedents set in the Scrima/Luther matter will have a bearing on the Alba case, and whether the city is opening itself up to a lawsuit if it dismisses Alba. It obviously depends on what’s in the complaint Scrima filed (ironically) with the fire and police commission.

It’s also interesting that the city attorney is not handling this matter and the city is seeking outside counsel.

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