PRICHARD, Ala. (WALA) - Prichard Fire Chief Mark Trenier's contract was terminated by Mayor Troy Ephriam Tuesday, April 9.
He is the second high-ranking Public Safety official removed from his office by the Mayor since he was elected in November.
"He told me he wanted to talk to me in his office. I went in and he told me that he was not satisfied with the direction the department was moving," said Trenier.
"It's an unfortunate decision," Ephriam told FOX10. "I think it's a culmination over the past four months of careful evaluation of the department, and the direction in which it was going of which we weren't satisfied and pleased with."
Mark Trenier said he was never given a clear reason for the change nor what exactly the Mayor was looking for from the Prichard Fire Department.
Former Police Chief Jimmie Gardner was also fired back in December. At first, he refused to leave his office. Later, Gardner challenged the termination in court, and lost.
Trenier's termination was immediate, without a 30 day notice. The mayor said he didn't have to give one.
"The chief did not have a contract. So, it was a decision that was made today in terms of him being able to leave.
If he had requested that, I'm sure we would have granted it. There's no bad feelings; there's no bad blood here. It's just again, it's an administrative decision that we felt had to be made. And because there is no contract in place, there was no need for a 30 day notice," Ephriam explained.
Trenier, however, told FOX10 a different story.
"I have a contract. I have a signed contract at my house." Trenier said.
Trenier said he plans to talk to his lawyer before making a decision as to whether he will challenge the termination.
He said he is not angry or bitter, and he believes his service to the city speaks for itself.
In the meantime, Trenier said he plans to retire and enjoy spending time with his wife.
Mayor Ephriam said his decision was not personal or political. He said he is simply acting in the best interest of the city.
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