Fire chief waits to hear if he keeps his job

NEWBERN, Tenn. — A letter from Newbern Mayor Olen Parker to his fire chief and assistant chief said he wants them gone.

“The mayor indicated to them in this letter they could either resign or be terminated,” Attorney Michael Weinman said.

Weinman has appealed their November terminations and in in attempting the appeals, may have saved their jobs.

“We received a response from the city attorney saying the termination was not a termination because the mayor alone didn’t have the authority to terminate the chief,” Weinman explained.

Weinman said a chief is appointed through a vote by the mayor and aldermen, and it takes that same vote from those members to fire him.

Mayor Parker’s letter, addressing both Phillip Cottrell and his brother Trevor Cottrell, says over the past years, many issues have come up. Those issues include not billing insurance companies and costing the city money, as well as overdrawing from their fund.

The mayor stated they were not using common sense, and did not follow city policy hiring new volunteers.

The Cottrell brothers said that’s simply not true, arguing when they tried to get clarification about the department’s budget, the mayor fired them.

“Shortly after they requested this budget information, they were called into this meeting with the mayor and the mayor gave them this letter indicating they had been terminated from their positions,” Weinman explained.

A meeting is scheduled with the aldermen, Mayor Parker, and the two fire employees Wednesday afternoon at 2 p.m.

Our attempts to hear from the mayor and city attorney have been unsuccessful.

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