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Florissant Fire Department faces mass resignations and suspension of chief

KRDO

FLORISSANT, Colo. (KRDO) -- The fire chief in a small Teller County city is currently suspended while several members of the special fire district's board have resigned. According to Teller County Commissioners, the Florissant Fire District no longer has enough officials to do public business.

Four out of five Florissant Fire Protection District Directors resigned in March, according to Florissant Fire & Rescue's interim-Chief. In order to have a quorum and conduct public business the district needs at least 3 directors present.

"Open lines of communication with the County Commissioners and the County Attorney about the orderly return of governance responsibilities following the resignation of multiple directors forms he District Board of Directors last month," the Teller County Commissioners and Florissant Fire District said in a joint statement on Friday.

On April 1st, the fire chief in Florissant, Michael Bailey, was placed on paid administrative leave. It's unclear why Bailey was suspended.

Despite the suspension and resignations, the district and county say they are comfortable that there will not be an interruption in the fire district’s services. 4 election district seats on the Florissant Fire Protection District are available in the upcoming May 3 election.

"While there is no quorum now - directors will be elected to office on May third and those directors will be responsible for conducting public business necessary to establish a quorum of the board," the joint statement said.

Volunteer firefighter Erik Holt is currently running the Florissant Fire Department as their interim Chief. Holt was named to the position one day after Bailey was notified of his suspension.

“Anything with the board is a board issue, and it’s not affecting us or our operations," Holt said when asked how the suspension and resignations impact their day-to-day operations. “We just responded to Colorado Mountain Estates Friday evening for a wildfire that could’ve been catastrophic. We called in our mutual aid partners and we did a very good job. No homes were lost, no injuries reported. We have made every call we will continue to answer every call.”

Two days after Bailey was suspended the Florissant Fire Chief was allegedly harassed at his home by former Teller County Emergency Management Director Don Angell. According to court records obtained by 13 Investigates, Angell used racial slurs and grabbed the suspended chief. The 64-year-old was arrested and charged harassment and child abuse ten days later.

The interim Chief says this incident was separate from the board members' resignation in March and the suspension on April 1.

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Dan Beedie

Dan is a reporter with the 13 Investigates team. Learn more about Dan here.

Comments

8 Comments

  1. Teller County Government Administration at it’s best and finest.
    “Four out of five Florissant Fire Protection District Directors resigned in March”, Nothing to see here…
    Chief is suspended, nothing to see here…
    OEM is arrested, nothing to see here…
    Off-duty Deputy is arrested for threatening public, nothing to see here…
    Sheriff shows pattern behavior of hiring dangerous second chance deputies has been observed, nothing to see here…
    Officer from another city had several of his fellow officers speak out about his behavior and conduct on the job is hired as deputy, nothing to see here…
    Public and community is told all of this is just a media hit job, nothing to see here…
    And the dueling banjos keeps on playing.

    1. Good summary.
      I’m still trying to understand the details of why the Florissant Fire Chief was allegedly harâssed at his home by former Teller County Emergency Management Director Don Angell. Perhaps Mr. Angell had valid reason for his “harâssment” that weren’t clear at the time, although it doesn’t excuse the use of racial slurs against the Chief.

      1. If I recall correctly, OEM showed up to Florissant Fire Chief’s residence to have him turn in equipment and gear. From there I am sure the details are in the Probable Cause and the Deputy’s paperwork which could be obtained by CORA if one truly had the desire to know more.

    2. Don’t forget the equally pungent leadership operations of the Woodland Park Police Department.
      .
      Must be something in the water up there.

      1. I was only doing a synopsis of the Teller County government, not the municipalities of Woodland Park and Cripple Creek as well; but yes that too.

        “Must be something in the water up there.”
        I hope not, we are down stream…

  2. Teller has always been a place you move to in order to live a free life with folks who watch out for each other but mind their own business otherwise. Many people here, the silent majority probably, still do that. So you have a smattering of natives and then you have waves of people coming in to live a “rice and beans” kind of self-sustaining life. Then you also had the tourists and second-home folk. The isolation also draws criminals, drugs, predators, etc., that’s everywhere but a particular problem to deal with in an area where people are so separate from each other.

    But in recent years, with the division in the country and the increasingly nasty and intolerant mindset all around, we have had a wave come in of people who want to signal how tough they are. They are the “new conservatives” who don’t have any historical understanding of either social or fiscal conservatism. So you get folks with a Confederate flag (supposedly signalling a belief in states rights) physically fighting folks protesting a county detention facility pulling in money from the federal government to fund a huge new building. It’s a real mess. Lastly, do not underestimate the mas sive and largely unwanted influence of AWM. Again, Teller has been a haven for lightly persecuted Christians. Now you get this large, powerful, rich, fake Christian organization flooding the area with influence and people. It’s a pyramid scheme that fronts as a religious organization, and Teller citizens don’t know how to deal with it. They don’t want to look anti-church, but they are not able to follow their instincts and realize this is not an actual Christian organization. In other words, we’ve been flooded with liars and crooks and posers and as a community that just wants to be left alone to live a right life in peace we don’t know how to deal with it.

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