UPDATE: No quorum at Unified Government meeting on KCKFD report - KCTV5 News

UPDATE: No quorum at Unified Government meeting on KCKFD report discussion

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A screenshot of the Facebook post that Holland provided. (KCTV) A screenshot of the Facebook post that Holland provided. (KCTV)
Rudy Harper/KCTV5 Rudy Harper/KCTV5
KANSAS CITY, KS (KCTV) -

UPDATE (7:34 p.m.) - In a joint statement from Unified Government County Administrator Doug Bach and Interim KCK Fire Chief Kevin Shirley, they say both the government and fire department will continue to study the matter. 

"In the next several months, KCK Fire Department management and Unified Government administration will analyze the data collected, implement administrative changes, and bring recommendations for changes or improvements back to the Commission for consideration," the statement reads. "Any recommended policy changes are subject to collective bargaining and will be discussed during labor contract negotiations with the Firefighters Union for the 2019 contract."

The statement concludes by noting that firefighters are "valued employees" and says the matter should not be portrayed as the UG vs. the Kansas City, KS Fire Department.

David Alvey, the man who defeated Unified Government Mayor/CEO Mark Holland in this year's election, issued the following statement: 

“It is a gross misrepresentation to describe the practice of 'shift trading' as evidence of widespread corruption. The County Administrator will provide a thorough review of the practice, and if any changes are needed to ensure the public safety of our residents, the Unified Government will enact them.”

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UPDATE (7:09 p.m.) - The Unified Government Board of Commissioners did not have a quorum for Thursday night's meeting. 

However, Unified Government Mayor/CEO Mark Holland is still presenting the report he says shows corruption within the Kansas City, KS Fire Department. 

Because of no quorum, the Unified Government's YouTube page is not live-streaming the meeting. 

Holland's official mayoral page is hosting a Facebook Live of the presentation. 

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ORIGINAL STORY

Unified Government Mayor/CEO Mark Holland released a statement on Thursday after he said a KCK firefighter made a threat to his safety in a Facebook post.

Holland said he reported the threat to the KCKPD and the Kansas Bureau of Investigation after a KCK firefighter named Chris Wing posted the statement on his Facebook page.

Holland provided a screenshot of the statement, which you can see in this story.

“The threat was made in response to a robocall (represented in black on the screen shot) that I sent Wednesday evening alerting the public to a meeting I called for 7 pm this evening to discuss a recent report, issued at the end of 2017, that revealed corruption within our Fire Department,” Holland said.

Wing said in his post, “You might need security detail when you start witch hunts like so…”

Chris Wing is the son of KCK Fire Captain Bob Wing, who also serves as the business manager for IAFF No. 64, according to the mayor.

More of Holland's statement: 

“Bob Wing has been at the center of the corrupt practice of paying other firefighters to work shifts, a practice that has resulted in a loss of nearly $1 million dollars to our taxpayers and, more important, has jeopardized the safety of other firefighters and the public at large,” the mayor said. “Bob Wing was the top abuser of this practice, having paid others to work all of his shifts in 2017.”

“The kind of threat that Chris Wing made will not be tolerated,” the mayor said. “To be sure, there are many, many good, hard working, honorable and brave firefighters on our staff. They put their lives on the line to keep us safe. But the threat Chris Wing made is intolerable. It is an example of the hostile mentality that pervades our Fire Union leadership. For years that leadership has controlled our Fire Department operations, yielding its power through a well-funded political machine that few politicians in this community have been willing to confront. That machine opposed me in the 2017 mayoral election for my willingness to hold it accountable for its corrupt practices. I paid the price for taking that principled stance by losing the election.”

“In the wake of Chris Wing’s threat, I call on all of my fellow Commissioners to stand firm and not allow a few people in our Fire Union to intimidate them. No physical threat will ever stop me from exposing corruption like that detailed in the report that tracked the number of firefighters who paid other firefighters to not work their shifts. My hope for my community is that other elected officials will stand firm in the face of such threats.”

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