Moorhead firefighters: ‘deceit, intimidation, autocracy and hostility’ in work environment
Six captains and one battalion chief want meeting with city officials
MOORHEAD, Minn. (KVRR) – A number of high-ranking Moorhead firefighters are expressing concerns about two potential fire chief candidates claiming intimidation and hostility.
In an email to Moorhead City Manager Dan Mahli, six Moorhead Fire Department captains and a battalion chief say they are not at all comfortable with Interim Chief Jeff Wallin and Battalion Chief David Conrad leading the city’s fire department.
The email, obtained by KVRR News, says despite their qualifications there’s “more to the story.” The firefighters claim there are “countless interactions of deceit, intimidation, autocracy and hostility” and how the work environment has allegedly gotten worse. The email does not provide specifics.
Captains Trent Amundsen, David Allen, Eric Berg, Derek Berg, Rick Loveland, Adam Puetz and Battalion Chief Benton Hicks signed the letter, which was sent to Mahli Monday night.
The email says the timing of the hiring process prompted them to write the letter and they plan to provide a more detailed explanation at a later time. They say they would welcome an opportunity to engage in a larger conversation addressing their concerns.
Moorhead City officials declined an on-camera interview. A spokesperson in the Moorhead City Manager’s office tells us the city values and supports its employees and is always willing to listen to them. The spokesperson adds there are policies and procedures in place for employees to share any issues they have with the city.
We left messages and tried to contact the firefighters mentioned in the letter, but have not heard back.
Moorhead hasn’t had a permanent fire chief since Rich Duysen stepped down in 2021.