Sean T. Porter is a decorated 35-Year Veteran of the Department Who Was Given No Reason for Dismissal
December 15, 2014, Chesterfield, Missouri…Sean T. Porter, a decorated Battalion Chief at the Monarch Fire Protection District who rose through the ranks in a respected 35-year career at the department was terminated Friday, December 12, without being given any official reason for the dismissal by the Monarch Board of Directors.
“I am stunned by this action and the lack of any explanation or any official statement by the Monarch board of Directors,” said Chief Porter, who was named Battalion Chief in April 2012 after applying for the open position vacated by a previous chief who had been fired. Battalion Chief Porter has lived in Chesterfield for 50 years and is the father of five children.
Battalion Chief Porter was asked to attend a closed board meeting of the Monarch held Friday, during which he was asked by Board President Robin Harris to recount the procedures of the process that led to his promotion to Battalion Chief.
Porter noted that he had successfully completed the official procedures for promotion per protocols and was recommended for the Battalion Chief position by then Chief Thomas Vineyard.
Immediately after Friday’s board meeting, Porter was called to the office of Interim Chief Chuck Marsonette where Assistant Chief Cary Spiegel also was present. Spiegel is a former Monarch Deputy Chief who fired in November of 2011, along with three other officers, after the district lost a gender discrimination lawsuit.
Marsonette told Porter on Friday that Board members wanted Porter to resign and that the resignation request had nothing to do with Porter’s excellent job performance.
When Porter refused to resign and said he had done nothing to warrant dismissal, he was immediately terminated by Marsonette, who offered no reasons why. “I asked why I was being terminated but I got no response from Chief Marsonette,” Porter said.
“This is outrageous,” said Andrew T. Stecko, 3rd District Vice President, Professional Firefighters of Eastern Missouri Local 2665 and Shop Steward for Monarch Firefighters/Paramedics.
“Board members Jane Cunningham and Robin Harris have wrongfully discharged a battalion chief officer who is much admired and well liked by firefighters and paramedics across St. Louis County and in greater St. Louis,” Stecko said.
“It is the Union’s position this action by Directors Cunningham and Harris is an attempt to destroy the morale of our firefighter/paramedic team, yet our team will take every measure to support Battalion Chief Porter in the face of this totally unwarranted action. Chief Porter has a spotless professional record,”” Stecko said.
Battalion Chief Porter said, “:”I am shocked by this move by Monarch Board members Jane Cunningham and Robin Harris after I have served with distinction for 35 years in the department. There is nothing on my record that warrants abrupt dismissal. I have never been officially reprimanded and there are no records of discipline in my personnel file,” he said.
Throughout his career, Battalion Chief Porter has attained certification as a Hazardous Materials Technician with the St. Louis County Hazardous Materials Response Team and maintains state licensure as an Emergency Medical Technician.
He successfully completed certifications course work through the National Incident Management System, the National Fire Academy at the Missouri Fire Rescue Training Institute, Western State College and Saint Louis University. He is an active member of the International Association of Fire Chiefs and the National Fire Protection Association.
“My next move will be guided by legal counsel,” said Battalion Chief Porter.
For more information, contact Andrew T. Stecko at 636 368 6123.