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Fiery fracas over firing

Fiery fracas over firing

Postby Triple 6 » Jan 10th, 2018, 7:58 am

https://www.castanet.net/edition/news-s ... htm#215826

A former West Kelowna assistant fire chief is seeking more than $150,000 from the District of West Kelowna after he was fired for drinking and driving in the chief's truck in 2013.

Kerry Klonteig's wrongful dismissal lawsuit against the District of West Kelowna began in Kelowna Supreme Court this week.

Klonteig worked as a firefighter and assistant fire chief at the Kelowna Fire Department for 13 years, before getting the assistant fire chief position with West Kelowna in 2008. Fire Chief Wayne Schnitzler called him a “strong leader” who brought “a wealth of knowledge and understanding of fire service" when the hire was made.

In 2013, Klonteig was making an annual salary of $101,581, plus performance bonuses and benefits.

On the evening of Oct. 6, 2013, Klonteig and his wife went to dinner at Kelowna's Lake City Casino, where he says he drank 12 ounces of wine, half an ounce of liqueur, half an ounce of rum and 36 ounces of beer over dinner and while gambling afterwards.

Klonteig chose to drive home, in Schnitzler's truck, which was owned by the District of West Kelowna.

“I had felt OK, I had a meeting the next day, and we didn't have a vehicle of our own and I didn’t feel comfortable leaving the chief's truck, that particular vehicle, downtown,” Klonteig said in court Tuesday. “So we made the decision to drive home.”

Just before 2 a.m., Klonteig was pulled over by an RCMP officer while crossing the William R. Bennett bridge, and failed two breathalyzer tests, blowing over 0.08 per cent blood alcohol content.

“I admit I made a mistake,” Klonteig said.

On Oct. 9, two days after Klonteig was handed a 90-day driving suspension and a 30-day impoundment of Schnitzler's truck, Klonteig was fired.

In his notice of civil claim, filed against the District in May 2014, Klonteig argues his employer “failed to implement alternative disciplinary actions” and says they should have given him 18-months of notice prior to his firing.

Klonteig is seeking more than $152,000 in damages from the District, plus other special damages to be determined by the court, for what he feels was a wrongful dismisful.

On Tuesday, Klonteig told the court he has since applied for assistant fire chief positions and fire chief positions in Kamloops, Abbotsford, Chilliwack, White Rock, Nelson and Kimberley, and applied for a firefighter position in Kitimat. No fire department has hired him.

He now works at Superior Fire Control, an industrial fire protection company in Northern B.C., on a fracking site.

Klonteig says he had a clean 23-year record in the fire service before the 2013 drinking and driving incident.

The letter of termination the District sent to Klonteig states: “This is simply unacceptable for someone in your position whose job is to protect the public safety” and “this incident also reflect poorly on our department and the District.”

Klonteig argued the incident did not reflect poorly on the fire department.

“This was an individual incident that happened as a mistake on my personal off-duty time,” he said. “It's a reflection on myself and the bad decision that I made at the time.”

The trial is expected to conclude Friday.
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Re: Fiery fracas over firing

Postby KelownaCrackinCrew » Jan 10th, 2018, 8:07 am

No sympathy for him.

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Re: Fiery fracas over firing

Postby Fancy » Jan 10th, 2018, 8:17 am

Other people don't lose their jobs so I can see the lawsuit.
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Re: Fiery fracas over firing

Postby SoyChai » Jan 10th, 2018, 8:19 am

I hope he doesn't receive a dime. An irresponsible decision with a work vehicle and he thinks it's unjust?? It absolutely DOES reflect poorly on his employer and they did the right thing by firing him.

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Re: Fiery fracas over firing

Postby Fancy » Jan 10th, 2018, 8:21 am

SoyChai wrote:I hope he doesn't receive a dime. An irresponsible decision with a work vehicle and he thinks it's unjust?? It absolutely DOES reflect poorly on his employer and they did the right thing by firing him.

He's arguing that it was his personal time and there were other disciplinary actions that could have been used instead of an immediate dismissal which resulted in not obtaining work in the same field.
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Re: Fiery fracas over firing

Postby Jflem1983 » Jan 10th, 2018, 8:27 am

Hard to work without a license. Hes lucky he didnt kill someone. I dont feel sorry for him. Obviously public servants should be held to a much higher standard. West Kelowna is safer without this guy .
Now they want to take our guns away . That would be just fine. Take em away from the criminals first . Ill gladly give u mine. "Charlie Daniels"

You have got to stand for something . Or you will fall for anything "Aaron Tippin"

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Re: Fiery fracas over firing

Postby johnrae » Jan 10th, 2018, 8:30 am

"""Other people don't lose their jobs so I can see the lawsuit."""

Are you :cuss: kidding me. Are you his mommy trying to coddle him for his mistake?? :200:

His job position requires him to have a drivers license and no criminal record. Plus the fact that it was a company vehicle. A city owned company vehicle was impounded.

" and we didn't have a vehicle of our own" "an annual salary of $101,581, plus performance bonuses " Whaaaat???? He is making over 100,000 a year and cant afford a vehicle of his own? Does he blow all of his money on hookers and blow.

There is more to this story then what is being told about this "Snowflake fireman" Come on people. Stop feeling sorry for this criminal.
:-X
Last edited by ferri on Jan 10th, 2018, 10:11 am, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: Word censor workaround.

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Re: Fiery fracas over firing

Postby W105 » Jan 10th, 2018, 8:32 am

so basically he wants severance pay for being fired without proper notice ??

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Re: Fiery fracas over firing

Postby TreeGuy » Jan 10th, 2018, 8:33 am

Getting the Fire Chief vehicle impounded DOES reflect badly.

Other people may not get fired but other people are not in the same position that an Assistant Chief is in.

He may have been off but he had the chiefs truck, if there was a major structure fire you know he would be expected to attend.

Poor decision. Suck it up.

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Re: Fiery fracas over firing

Postby Fancy » Jan 10th, 2018, 8:36 am

johnrae wrote:"""Other people don't lose their jobs so I can see the lawsuit."""
.... Are you his mommy trying to coddle him for his mistake?? :200:


Grow up and watch your language. You obviously don't understand the law and the reason behind the lawsuit. If others in his position are treated differently for the same offences, then that opens the door for a lawsuit.
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Re: Fiery fracas over firing

Postby Fancy » Jan 10th, 2018, 8:38 am

johnrae wrote:" and we didn't have a vehicle of our own" "an annual salary of $101,581, plus performance bonuses " Whaaaat???? He is making over 100,000 a year and cant afford a vehicle of his own?

Who said he doesn't own a vehicle?
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Re: Fiery fracas over firing

Postby Fancy » Jan 10th, 2018, 8:43 am

W105 wrote:so basically he wants severance pay for being fired without proper notice ??

Sounds like it - he's claiming his employment contract was breached without appropriate notice of termination or adequate payment.
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Re: Fiery fracas over firing

Postby Jflem1983 » Jan 10th, 2018, 8:44 am

Fancy wrote:
W105 wrote:so basically he wants severance pay for being fired without proper notice ??

Sounds like it - he's claiming his employment contract was breached without appropriate notice of termination or adequate payment.



He broke the law. He does not deserve that job.
Now they want to take our guns away . That would be just fine. Take em away from the criminals first . Ill gladly give u mine. "Charlie Daniels"

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Re: Fiery fracas over firing

Postby KK69 » Jan 10th, 2018, 8:46 am

The officer that followed through with the arrest should get an award of some sort. It makes me feel great knowing that the officer followed through and he didn't get special treatment. I would like to give him a hug for getting this guy off of the street. I don't know about "FANCY", but "NO" alcohol is my rule when it comes to driving.
Don't drink and drive period!!!!
Last edited by KK69 on Jan 10th, 2018, 9:48 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Fiery fracas over firing

Postby Whyme » Jan 10th, 2018, 8:47 am

Play with fire you will get burned!
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