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Red Wing firefighters claim chief threatened, intimidated employees

Red Wing firefighters claim chief threatened, intimidated employees

Updated: July 12, 2019 05:15 PM

Red Wing firefighters have voted to approve a resolution of No Confidence in the city's fire chief.

According to a news release, the Red Wing Professional Firefighters (RWPF) said the vote regarding Chief Shannon Draper was unanimous, and was held in May. However, the members elected to withhold publicizing the resolution in hopes the City Council would take appropriate action against the chief.

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"Unfortunately, the City Council chose to allow Chief Draper to return to work following a short suspension leaving us no other option, knowing that it may damage the reputation of the Department for which we proudly work," the release said in part.

According to the release, the union submitted a formal complaint to the city on April 18, outlining several instances of violations of state labor laws and the city's ethics policy, including a request for the city to investigate and take appropriate action. The chief was notified on April 23 that a complaint was filed, and the release states that Draper then called a department-wide staff meeting before knowing the basis of the complaint, during which the RWPF said Draper threatened and intimidated his employees. The release states the meeting also cost the city $1,500 in overtime costs because off-duty personnel were called in.

Two days later, Draper was placed on administrative leave.

The RWPF release states that the Firefighters Union held a meeting to discuss Draper's behavior and impact on the department on May 6, during which members asked for the vote of No Confidence. It also states, "We see no means by which Shannon Draper can regain the trust of his employees or effectively lead a group of dedicated people who do not feel safe in his presence or working under his direction."

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