Large crowd shows up for fire chief disciplinary meeting


Fire Chief Mark Payne, center left, meets with a crowd of supporters outside city hall after telling Mayor John Nordine he'd rather meet in a public setting regarding a disciplinary notice he got from Nordine. - Jacob Wagner photo

A peaceful, but angry, group of about 40-50 people gathered outside of city hall in Electric City Wednesday afternoon in support of Mark Payne, the city's fire chief, who is facing disciplinary action regarding holding wildland fire-training exercises without a permit or the mayor's permission.

"I am convinced that it is more likely than not that you violated state law in conducting an unauthorized fire training on April 19, 2019, on the Banks Lake Golf Course," says a letter Payne received from Mayor John Nordine, citing Washington state law prohibiting wildland fire fighting training wit...

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