Boise fire chief says McLean will ask Boise City Council to vote to fire him

Posted at 11:36 AM, Mar 04, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-04 14:16:33-05

BOISE, Idaho — *This story was written by Hayley Harding and was published on the Idaho Statesman.*

Update at 12:00 p.m.: In a tweet, Dennis Doan shared a letter from Kelcey Stewart, human resources director from the city of Boise.

In the letter, it said the city would “pursue a public vote” following a section of Boise City Code that says Boise’s fire chief is appointed by the mayor with the consent of the Boise City Council.

The letter says Doan was offered a settlement, which he rejected and then asked for time to reconsider. It goes on to say that Doan asked to retire and that McLean said she would consider it, but that she decided to decline the proposal and rescind its offer to “settle (his) personnel matter.”

A city spokeswoman did not immediately respond to request for comment on the matter.

This story was originally published under the headline “Boise fire chief to retire. Here’s what he says about reason McLean put him on leave.”

Original Story:

Just days after he was put on paid administrative leave, Boise Fire Chief Dennis Doan said he will retire by the end of May.

At a news conference Wednesday in front of City Hall, Doan declined to say why he had been put on leave Monday. He insisted that it was not because he had been disciplined.

“Putting me on administrative leave was not because I did anything wrong,” he said. “It was not that I did anything wrong. ... It was not discipline, and I did not do anything and was not accused of doing anything wrong.”

Doan said he had told Boise Mayor Lauren McLean of his intention to retire in a meeting earlier in the morning in what he called “a very nice meeting.” He said he would stay on leave until his retirement.

He thanked former Mayor David Bieter, the City Council and the Boise community for their support. Doan supported Bieter, who appointed him chief, in Bieter’s unsuccessful re-election campaign last year.

Doan, 51, said he was still young and while he was retiring from the city of Boise, he may continue to work as a firefighter elsewhere.

“I want to continue to live and work in this city, but there’s only one fire chief job, so I’m not sure what my next step is,” Doan said.

In July, Doan was offered a job as fire chief in Bend, Oregon. He turned it down, telling the Statesman at the time he realized his love of Boise. Bieter gave him a raise at the time, setting his salary in Boise at $165,006. That made him Boise’s second-highest-paid employee behind Airport Director Rebecca Hupp.

Lana Graybeal, a spokeswoman for McLean, said after the news conference that Doan remains on administrative leave and that by state law, she was unable to say more.

McLean announced Tuesday that Deputy Chief Romeo Gervais would be acting chief while Doan is on leave.

With the announcement of his retirement, Doan is the third city department head to leave since October. Bill Bones, former Boise police chief, retired in October, and Kevin Booe, former director of the Boise Public Library, retired at the end of the year. Searches are underway for people to fill both roles.