Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

East Lake fire chief agrees to payoff deal

EAST LAKE — The East Lake Fire Commission will give fire Chief Jeff Malzone almost half a million dollars to leave the small department, enabling commissioners to get the chief they want and, it turns out, a new commission member, too.

At a busy meeting Tuesday night, the Fire Commission voted unanimously to pay Malzone $350,000, plus $110,000 he is owed in vacation and sick pay.

The commission initially offered the chief, who was under contract until the end of 2014, only $147,000 and the vacation and sick pay. Malzone, 53, countered that he was owed $951,220.86.

The agreement reached between the commission and Malzone also forbids either side to make disparaging remarks about the other and prevents Malzone from pursuing legal action against the fire district.

In March the commission put Malzone and Deputy Chief Steve Rogers on paid administrative leave, saying they were considering ways to cut administrative costs in the department.

In April, commissioners laid off Rogers, who was a 23-year department veteran and made $92,000 a year. The commission also began negotiations to buy out Malzone's contract.

On Tuesday, with Malzone out, the commission voted to elevate division chief Tom Jamison to fire chief, effective June 1. Jamison has served as interim chief while Malzone was on leave. He will be paid $92,500, with an opportunity for another $2,500 in incentive pay.

But that wasn't the commission's only hire Tuesday.

One of its own, Commissioner Tom May, resigned from the board during the meeting and was immediately hired as assistant fire chief at a salary of $85,000. May, 53, retired from the East Lake Fire Department in 2009 after a 28-year career. He was just elected to the Fire Commission in November.

To fill May's seat, the fire commission appointed former commission Chairman Tom McKone, who was immediately sworn in. McKone left the commission to run against state Rep. Peter Nehr for the House District 48 seat last November, but received only 38.5 percent of the vote. McKone will have to run for the commission seat in the next election.

"This is the best thing for the department," commission Chairman Mark Weinkrantz said after Tuesday's actions, adding, "We now can move forward as a community."

East Lake fire chief agrees to payoff deal 05/25/11 [Last modified: Wednesday, May 25, 2011 7:44pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Car bomb kills 13, injures 24 in Baghdad; Islamic State claims responsibility

    World

    BAGHDAD — A car bomb exploded outside a popular ice cream shop in central Baghdad just after midnight today, killing 13 people and wounding 24, hospital and police officials said.

  2. Leaping shark floors angler in Australia

    World

    In The Old Man and the Sea, Ernest Hemingway's protagonist battles for three days to pull in his prized catch. For Terry Selwood, it came a little more suddenly.

    A 9-foot shark lies on the deck of a fishing boat at Evans Head, Australia on Sunday. Fisherman Terry Selwood said he was left with a badly bruised and bleeding right arm where the shark struck him with a fin as it landed on him on the deck. [Lance Fountain via AP]
  3. Rays rally twice to beat Rangers (w/video)

    The Heater

    ARLINGTON, Texas — Starting Erasmo Ramirez on Monday after he closed out Sunday's marathon win turned out, despite the Rays' best intentions and rigid insistence, to be a bad idea as he gave up four runs without getting through three innings.

    Erasmo Ramirez, starting a day after closing a 15-inning marathon, struggles against the Rangers and comes out after throwing 43 pitches in 21/3 innings.
  4. Britain investigating missed signals over Manchester bomber

    World

    LONDON — Britain's domestic intelligence agency, MI5, is investigating its response to warnings from the public about the threat posed by Salman Abedi, the suicide bomber who killed 22 people and wounded dozens more in an attack at a crowded Ariana Grande concert in Manchester, England, last week.

    People gather Monday at St. Ann’s Square in Manchester, England, to view tributes to victims of the suicide bombing that killed 22 on May 22 as a concert by Ariana Grande was concluding.
  5. Trump condemns killing of pair who tried to stop racist rant

    Nation

    The mayor of Portland, Ore., on Monday urged U.S. officials and organizers to cancel a "Trump Free Speech Rally" and other similar events, saying they are inappropriate and could be dangerous after two men were stabbed to death on a train as they tried to help a pair of young women targeted by an anti-Muslim tirade.

    Coco Douglas, 8, leaves a handmade sign and rocks she painted at a memorial in Portland, Ore., on Saturday for two bystanders who were stabbed to death Friday while trying to stop a man who was yelling anti-Muslim slurs and acting aggressively toward two young women. From left are Coco's brother, Desmond Douglas; her father, Christopher Douglas; and her stepmother, Angel Sauls. [Associated Press]