Bradley County Fire & Rescue has a new leader after the recent unpaid suspension of former-Chief Troy Maney: Shawn Fairbanks, who has served as director of the county's emergency medical services since February.
"I felt like I had to do something," Bradley County Mayor D. Gary Davis said in phone interview on Friday. "This reorganization provides new leadership that, in my opinion, is very much needed."
Fairbanks now serves in the newly created post of director of Bradley County Emergency Services, according to a recent announcement. The new position encompasses the responsibilities of both the fire chief and emergency services director.
The appointment will come before the Bradley County Commission on July 5 for confirmation.
On June 20, Maney surrendered several certifications for fire fighting, hazardous material operations and instruction as part of an agreement with Tennessee's Firefighting Personnel Standards and Education Commission, which investigated an April 2015 complaint alleging the chief obtained certifications in a "fraudulent, false or unauthorized manner." In return, the commission agreed not to go forward with scheduled hearings about the complaint.
Maney now serves as operations chief and continues "to be responsible for the day-to-day operations" of the fire department, while Fairbanks has ultimate say-so on personnel and financial matters, Davis said.
Davis confirmed Maney took a $6,000 pay cut and that money now goes to Fairbanks as part of the reorganization.
"This reorganization does not cost the taxpayers any additional money," Davis said.
When asked, Davis did not cite any specific county policy regarding Maney's suspension or reassignment.
While Davis would not discuss salaries, the fire department chief made $56,528, according to the Bradley County 2015-2106 budget. A $6,000 cut would adjust that figure to $50,528. According to the county's 2014-2105 budget, the chief made $51,000.
Maney could not be reached for comment Friday.
Bradley County Commissioner Johnny Mull, chairman of the commission's fire committee, agreed with Davis' decision.
"I believe this reorganization is best for all parties involved," Mull said.
The planned county commission confirmation vote amounts to a formality, since administrative decisions fall under the mayor's authority, he said.
In August 2015, Maney's attorney James Logan said he was "privileged to represent a falsely accused man" when state fire authorities investigated the complaint against his client.
Maney received certifications and credits on eight occasions between October 2014 and April 2015, but did not complete exams or perform other requirements on the dates they were issued, according to allegations in the agreement.
Although Maney did not admit liability to most of the allegations, he agreed that "if those factual allegations were adopted by the Commission, during a contested case proceeding, the Commission could find that such constitute violations" pertaining to whether any "fraud, collusion, misrepresentation or substantial mistake was involved in the procurement of the certification."
Kevin Walters, spokesman for the Tennessee Department of Commerce and Insurance, said in a recent mail that a fire chief does not need the certifications that Maney surrendered to serve in that position.
The agreement says it "represents a compromise and settlement of the controversy between the parties and is for settlement purposes only."
It also bars Maney from participating in the state certification program for two years.
Contact staff writer Paul Leach at 423-757-6481 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow on Twitter @pleach_tfp.