20140915_175101Mystery surrounds an employee claim involving the Golden Valley Fire District (GVFD). During its special meeting Monday, the Fire Board deferred action and comment regarding the claim brought by Nicole Guerrero. While rumors circulate, it is not clear if the claim takes aim at the GVFD, its Chief or others. Such claims are typically treated as a public document, yet District officials have not yet complied with media requests for disclosure last Thursday and Friday and again on Monday of this this week. Guerrero had handled bookkeeping and other administrative functions for the GVFD. Chief Thomas O’Donohue said in late August that Guerrero had been assigned other duties and was mostly focused on helping the District prepare for an upcoming hearing regarding its bid for certification to provide ambulance service.  Guerrero’s reassignment comes after discovery of previous problems with firefighter insurance premium payments and failure to forward income tax withholding monies to the Internal Revenue Service. The District is currently considering contracting for outside help with accounting functions.  The District took no action Tuesday on a proposed contract for the services of Stacey Gabriel, an attorney with expertise in personnel matters. It was clear that Gabriel has already been engaged by the District because Chief O’Donohue has flexbility to spend up to $5,000 for special needs without consent of the Board. Board member Mark Vanik, after the meeting, confirmed Gabriel is being used to address the Guerrero claim. Assistant Chief Jack Yeager told Board members that Gabriel’s services require a $2,500 retainer and $250 per hour.  Vanik said the Board may soon consider authorizing additional allocations for Gabriel’s service.

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