Grand Forks’ fire chief is on a paid leave of absence, as the fire department deals with investigations into alleged bullying, harassment, and safety issues.
The city said Friday that Dale Heriot was placed on leave earlier this week.
A prevention officer visited the fire hall in April, following a report from a volunteer firefighter that he was bullied after he had brought forward safety concerns.
The volunteer, who spoke to Black Press Media on condition of anonymity, said he had brought those concerns to the chief’s attention, and then to the city’s chief administrative officer. The city then hired an HR consultant to look into the matter.
The volunteer said he started to be mistreated, being left off the shift schedule or excluded from calls, and so went to WorkSafeBC. The agency found no evidence bullying and harassment regulations while on site, and has asked for the HR report as it continues its investigation.
Heriot has not returned several requests for comment. According to the most recent information on the city’s website, Heriot’s salary was $113,000 in 2017.
“The Fire Chief is on leave to allow some distance while the investigation is concluded,” the city’s corporate officer Daniel Drexler said, and but did not provide any more detail as to why.
Mayor Brian Taylor has declined to comment, referring all inquiries to senior city staff.