A “culture of hostility”. That is a claim that more than a few fire chiefs can relate to. In the case of Brooklyn Park Fire Chief Kenneth Prillaman, that hostility came at the hands of a councilman who is also a firefighter.
Last night, the Brooklyn Park City Council voted 6-0 to approve a severance package for Chief Prillaman who was otherwise poised to file suit against the city for what he termed an “unfair, hostile work environment.”
Brooklyn Park Mayor Jeffrey Lunde and City Councilman Rich Gates were quite blunt in directing the blame at Councilman Mark Mata, himself a paid-on-call firefighter.
Fox9 quoted Councilman Gates as saying ““We have one person who’s trying to ruin the city, ultimately.” Mayor Lunde was quoted as saying “For me this is a bad case of deja vu because I’ve been here. About ten years ago, the predecessor, the same council member, went after the other fire chief. And so that’s been kind of the question is ‘We’re here again?’ So it’s not the fire chiefs, it’s about a vendetta and I think what’s suffering is the city.”
The settlement calls for Chief Prillaman to receive six months of wages plus an additional $35,000 to release the City from the threat of litigation.