Arizona Chief Settles Pension Claim Against City

A case we discussed several weeks ago involving the fire chief in Peoria, Arizona has settled. Thomas Solberg was promised a pension as part of his benefit package when he left the Lee’s Summit, Missouri Fire Department in 2009 and moved to Arizona to become the fire chief in Peoria.

However, after working in Peoria for over 14 months, the state pension system refused to permit him to join leaving the Chief and the city without a viable alternative to what was promised. Chief Solberg resigned earlier this month, and filed a $3.6 million damage claim against his former bosses.

The Arizona Republic is reporting that the chief has agreed to accept $150,000 to settle the matter. As part of a settlement, the city does not admit fault and Chief Solberg has agreed not to publically discuss the fact that the city promised him the pension benefit.

More on the story.

About Curt Varone

Curt Varone has over 40 years of fire service experience and 30 as a practicing attorney licensed in both Rhode Island and Maine. His background includes 29 years as a career firefighter in Providence (retiring as a Deputy Assistant Chief), as well as volunteer and paid on call experience. He is the author of two books: Legal Considerations for Fire and Emergency Services, (2006, 2nd ed. 2011, 3rd ed. 2014) and Fire Officer's Legal Handbook (2007), and is a contributing editor for Firehouse Magazine writing the Fire Law column.

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