Sunrise Beach fire protection board president and chief resign


The Sunrise Beach Fire Protection District board president resigned less than a week after Chief Dennis Reilly departed.

Friday afternoon, the Assistant Fire Chief, Jamie Karl said he could not provide a comment on whether the two resignations involved similar reasons.

Reilly said his departure will allow the department in turmoil to "reset" pointing to "intimidation and bullying" from a small group of people over the past year.

Reilly stated that over the years of working with board treasurer, Bob Hemen, he felt he was a victim of his campaign of intimidation and witnessed bullying against employees, both current and past.

In his resignation letter Reilly stated that he and his wife Ann decided that it is in his "personal and professional interest to tender his resignation as Chief."

Full letter of resignation:

I have spent my entire working life in service to my country and my community. I have always held myself to the highest of moral and ethical standards. Every decision I have made has been aimed at protecting my community and the people under my command. The performance of my duties has exposed my family to numerous sacrifices and we have willingly born the burden of my service. I have no regrets for what I have done or the decisions that I have made.
Since the early part of this year both myself and our District have come under a constant attack from Mr. Hemen and his small group of supporters. My ethical decision making, my suitability for command, and the performance of our staff at emergencies has been criticized by his supporters. These people have no background to make the assessments that they do. The strategies of misrepresenting facts failing to provide context that is needed to objectively discuss an issue, and the offering of the uniformed opinions that are not technically or tactically sound, have become common place.
It is also very clear that Mr. Hemen has a personal agenda to create disruption in the organization and is antagonistic against our employees. I have personally witnessed and have been a victim of his campaign of intimidation and bullying against employees, both current and past.
I will no longer allow myself to be exposed to the harassment that have become common place in dealing with Mr. Hemen. I am extremely proud of all we have accomplished, and my hope is the Fire District will be able to work through this very difficult situation.

Karl said the district will continue to provide expected service to the people despite everything that is happening in the district office.

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