By Lukas Eggen Ely Times Staff Writer

The White Pine County Commission accepted District Fire Chief John Shearman’s resignation during a special fire commission meeting last week. Human Resource director Kathy Ricci read the letter of resignation, dated July 19:

Commissioners of White Pine County, it is here by notified that John Shearman, Emergency Services Chief of White Pine County, resigns from this position with three weeks notice. My last day of employment with White Pine County will be Aug. 9, 2013.


John Shearman

Shearman didn’t attend the meeting.

The county commission also voted to put Shearman on paid administrative leave until Aug. 9 and collected his keys to buildings and equipment. County Commissioner Richard Howe said that he felt this course of action made the most sense to take when compared to other situations.

“Mr. Shearman has submitted his resignation dated July 19,” Howe said. “My opinion on this as I look at different places, sometimes it’s not in the best interest of everybody to keep the employee with keys as he’s leaving. My opinion would be the best course of action for this commission is to put Mr. Shearman on administrative leave, collect the keys to his vehicle and to the buildings and pay him up to the date that he would like, which is Aug. 9, but I think it would be in the best interest of everybody. The man has resigned or submitted his resignation and I think the administrative leave would be the best course of action that would be appropriate by us effective immediately.”

Commissioner Mike Lemich agreed placing Shearman on administrative leave would ensure that Shearman’s final three weeks will run smoothly.

“I agree with Commissioner Howe primarily because I think it would alleviate any potential problems or confrontation and issues that might arise,” Lemich said.

Commissioner Mike Coster also supported the item, but said he wanted to be clear it’s not reflective on any issue or potential issue.

“I will support this, but I want to be on record that there’s no inference to be drawn that removing his keys and taking him off the premises because of any integrity issue or property damage issue,” Coster said.

The county commission also directed Ricci to take action to recruit filling the position of White Pine County Fire District Chief, including the recruitment and/or contact of previous candidates. The county has a six-month time period to contact previous candidates to gauge interest in the position.

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