BRENTWOOD (KMOX) – A mid-county fire chief is retiring, after the revelation that firefighters were paid $12 thousand a year in unworked overtime.
Chief Bob Niemeyer readily admits it, and says the practice began 24 years ago.
“We were sending out our equipment for repairs and it was costing us too much money,” he explained. “My bosses finally said to me, after I’d been chief for five years, that this would need to stop and we would need to work up a new program.”
So, since 1987, firefighters have spent the occasional day off being taught how to fix broken equipment and putting that training to use. They were always paid for ten hours of overtime, but usually put in about seven.
Chief Niemeyer said Brentwood city leaders have always known about the arrangement, something they dispute.
“There’s nothing at all wrong with this. I firmly believe I did nothing wrong,” Niemeyer told KMOX’s Mark Reardon, while extolling the bravery and commitment of his firefighters.
Their union has agreed to forgo raises to help pay back the cash.
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