Pine Fire Chief Resigns


Oft-embattled Pine-Strawberry Fire Chief Bill Dekker has resigned, effective immediately.

The board met Wednesday to discuss whether to renew Dekker's contract, which expired on Sept. 1.


Bill Dekker

After an executive session, the board returned to open session and unanimously accepted Dekker's resignation.

He said his decision to resign was a long time in the making.

"It's been something that has been on my mind for a couple months," he said. "It's time to reprioritize. I plan to be with my wife."

Dekker said that he has enjoyed his time as chief, despite the messiness of his term.

"It's been a good three-and-a-half years," he said. "I've enjoyed my time here."

The decision for him to resign was mutual, he said.

"We came to a good agreement and consensus between the parties," he said. "It's been a difficult situation, but I think the department is a good department."

Dekker said he has no intention of staying in the Pine-Strawberry area.

Dekker's three-and-a-half-year term as chief was riddled with controversy. His termination of former firefighter Mark Boys in January 2005 has resulted in an ongoing civil rights lawsuit.

Dekker was cited for disorderly conduct by the Gila County Sheriff's Office in May. He was placed on 30-day paid administrative leave by the board as a result of those charges.

Dekker was ordered by Judge Dorothy Little to pay a $100 fine and serve 20 hours of nonprofit community service for the charges. Dekker was reinstated as chief by the board on July 11.

The board accepted Dekker's suggestion to appoint Capt. Bob Lashua as interim chief.

Commenting has been disabled for this item.