Fire marshal who was fired files arbitration case
The fire marshal who was fired in February for violating the city's sick leave policy, then reinstated with a demotion in March, has filed the paperwork to go to arbitration with the city.
He was helped by his local firefighter union.
"They were not satisfied with the outcome," City Manager Jim Drumm said Wednesday.
Kerry Barnett, now a lieutenant with the department he's worked for since 1988, said Wednesday he wants his old position back as well as the appropriate back pay.
Drumm last month reviewed the case and decided that Fire Chief Keith Williams should have considered Barnett's tenure and good standing with the department before he chose to fire him.
While out on sick leave from the department after injuring his foot in an off-duty accident in the fall, Barnett worked a similar job as a contractor for St. Leo mostly doing paperwork, which turned out to be against Zephyrhills policy.
Barnett maintains he didn't realize he was doing anything wrong.
"It's definitely good to be back," he said Wednesday. "In retrospect, I am happy the city manager reversed the chief's decision and put me back to work."