Longview fire chief terminated by council

By Bob Hallmark - bio | email

LONGVIEW, TX (KLTV) - It came down to just one vote, but an East Texas fire chief is now out of a job.

After hearing two hours of emotional testimony, Longview city council members voted Thursday night  to terminate current fire chief Michael Pruitt.

Last week, the city manager had asked for Pruitt's resignation, and when Pruitt declined, it came before council.

Numerous citizens and firefighters spoke both for an against Pruitt, but in the end the council voted 4-to-3 to terminate him.

Some council members wanted to table the vote, but according to the city charter, when a city manager recommends termination of an employee, the council can only vote for or against.

Last week, Pruitt was placed on leave amid questions over his management of the department.

According to the City Manager's Office, Assistant Fire Chief Claude Ford and Assistant Chief Kenny Southwell have asked to oversee the fire department.

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