CBS 58 Investigates: New details about resignation of Germantown Fire Chief

CBS 58 Investigates: New details about resignation of Germantown Fire Chief

GERMANTOWN, Wis. (CBS 58) -- The Germantown fire chief is speaking out about allegations of inappropriate behavior, days after his abrupt resignation. 

CBS 58 Investigates obtained new documents that shed light on what happened and spoke to the now former chief.

On January 20, a Germantown Fire department employee sent an email to Village Administrator Steve Kreklow regarding “concerns about two conversations with two different people regarding Chief Weiss and a local restaurant.”

Kreklow tells CBS 58 he met with this person and learned about multiple allegations of inappropriate comments by Chief Weiss.

Weiss says he’s still in the dark about what those comments were.

“I was totally taken back and surprised,” Weiss said. “I have no idea what it was about. Guys talk, maybe it would’ve been guy talk. I don’t know. There was nothing malicious meant by anything I said.”

But the village launched an investigation and Monday night Chief Weiss resigned.

“Let’s just say I fought it and won, which I could’ve, what would be the end result?” Weiss said. “There still would be that eye on me. So I figured it was best just to resign.”

Weiss says during his nearly 4 years as chief, he cut response time from 12 minutes to five and implanted cutting edge safety measures for firefighters and the public. But he adds, he also cut part-time and on-call pay, which he thinks made him a target.

“I had to control the budget because it was out of control,” Weiss said. “When you put controls in it makes you unpopular because people might not get the same amount of money.”

CBS 58 obtained Weiss’ personnel file which doesn’t show any other complaints during his time as chief. It also doesn’t indicate any performance reviews.

In an email, Kreklow tells CBS 58 “I have only been with the Village for about six months and did not complete any performance reviews with Mr. Weiss. I have not been able to locate any previous performance reviews that were completed.”

Weiss made $91,044 a year at the time he resigned. As part of the resignation agreement, Weiss will continue to be paid and get health benefits through May 31, 2018. The village will also provide Weiss with a reference letter stating he voluntarily resigned.

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