An Oregon fire chief who filed a wrongful termination suit last year after he was fired has agreed to accept a $55,000 settlement.
Chief Mike Balzer was terminated by the Cannon Beach Rural Fire Protection District in October 2015. Chief Balzer sued claiming the fire district’s board retaliated against him because his wife posted comments on social media that were critical of the district’s board directors.
The suit alleged breach of contract, wrongful discharge, defamation, and violation of Chief Balzer’s 1st Amendment and 14th Amendment rights. He sought $678,000 in damages and his reinstatement as fire chief.
The dispute also prompted an unsuccessful attempt to recall the three board members who voted to remove Chief Balzer. The settlement includes an agreement that the Chief will not apply for reinstatement nor pursue further claims against district or its board members.