Arizona City Fire District board fires chief

Former Chief Paul Sabel (left)  Assistant Chief Jeremy LearyBy Rodney Haas | Casa Grande Dispatch

The local fire district board voted 3-2 Wednesday to remove Paul Sabel as fire chief effective at noon on Thursday.

The decision came after an hour and a half of heated exchanges among board members and at times with some of about 65 people who showed up — the majority in support of Sabel.

Board member Bill Bailey made the motion to relieve Sabel of his duties, citing a lack of leadership and motivation to educate himself and receive certifications.

“Employee and community relations, as well as the relations with our neighboring fire service agencies, is at an all-time low,” Bailey said. “These are areas we

cannot afford to disregard as has happened in the past.”

Following the vote, board member Diane Wright said she intends to resign. Wright stood up and said she believed some members of the board had a personal agenda and she would not be a part of a board that would act in that way.

“It’s a shame that so close to our 50th anniversary that a board of five can undo so much that took 49 years to build and they can tear it down in 10 months. It’s my intent to resign from this board,” Wright said to loud applause.

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