Former Idabel Fire Chief Wants His Job Back - KTEN.com - No One Gets You Closer

Former Idabel Fire Chief Wants His Job Back

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IDABEL, OK -- A McCurtain County man who lost his job as fire chief is fighting to get it back, and council members called a special meeting to hear what he has to say.

Idabel fire chief Andrew Young, 47, was fired before the holidays, and now he wants that decision reversed. Council members heard from him, while a few dozen people came out to support him.

Family and friends came to City Hall on East Main Street on Friday evening to show their support for Young, as he went before the city council to appeal his dismissal.

"I don't like what's going on, I really don't because I don't feel that it's fair to him to be treated the way he's been treated. He was a good firefighter, he was a good fire chief," says cousin Pam Jones Briley.

Mayor Tina Foshee-Thomas says she fired the chief in December and cannot say why, however Young has reportedly been accused of embezzlement, but he has not been charged.

"There were really small allegations I think that were never investigated by his superior. It was just hearsay that came from within the department, I guess from some of the folks who weren't willing to be supervised," says Young's sister Diahanne McClellan.

One firefighter says he cannot talk about Young because the firefighters have received subpoenas from a grand jury. Foshee-Thomas says Young has been with the fire department for about 15 years, serving as chief since 2008.

"Even though it's 2013, I don't think diversity is embraced or accepted within the city hall," says McClellan.

As city council members including Young's brother Craig Young talked and heard evidence behind closed doors, supporters said they feel Young is being targeted because of his race.

"I feel like there's racism or something personal. I was paying attention to the mayor as councilman Young came through the door and I see all the council members get up to shake his hand, but the mayor just had like a smirk on her face," says Chandra Baker.

"We hope the councilmen will be fair and overturn the decision of the mayor," says McClellan.

Council members did talk behind closed doors for a few hours. Young himself was not in the room for the whole time. They will reconvene again at 9 a.m. to continue their discussions.

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