UPDATE, 6:30 p.m.: A Statement from Bill Gillespie

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In a brief statement Monday morning Humboldt Bay Fire announced the surprise resignation of Fire Chief Bill Gillespie:

Bill Gillespie

The Humboldt Bay Fire Joint Powers Authority Board of Directors has accepted Fire Chief Bill Gillespie’s resignation from Humboldt Bay Fire. Deputy Fire Chief Bill Reynolds has been appointed as the Acting Fire Chief until an Interim Fire Chief is selected and appointed.

Humboldt Bay Fire Joint Powers Authority Board of Directors would like to thank Chief Gillespie for his dedication and 21 years of service to the City of Eureka, HFD District #1, Humboldt Bay Fire JPA, and surrounding community.

The announcement comes after a closed session meeting of HBF’s Joint Powers Authority that took place this morning.  Reached by phone board chair Kim Bergel said that she could not comment on the situation but noted, “I really appreciated working with Bill. I will miss him.” (UPDATE: In response to baseless internet speculations, Bergel later contacted the Outpost to assure us that Gillespie’s resignation was not prompted by any harassment allegations.)

An agenda for this morning’s meeting sent out last week contains one agenda item, Public Employment - Fire Chief Pursuant to Government Code § 54957 (b)(1), which seems to suggest that this was some sort of performance review. From the code:

Subject to paragraph (2), this chapter shall not be construed to prevent the legislative body of a local agency from holding closed sessions during a regular or special meeting to consider the appointment, employment, evaluation of performance, discipline, or dismissal of a public employee or to hear complaints or charges brought against the employee by another person or employee unless the employee requests a public session.

The Outpost attempted to reach Gillespie at the fire station but we were told he was already gone. 

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