Fire Chief's Retirement Deal Crumbles

The deal that set the stage for the retirement of Omaha Fire Chief Mike McDonnell has come apart at the seams in a clash over the language of the agreement to part ways.

The Agreement outlined in a Memo of Understanding was inked on Monday, August 26.

According to a news release from the mayor's office, the deadline for McDonnell to sign the final agreement passed at 4:30 Friday afternoon.

The release says that late Friday, McDonnell demanded language be inserted into the original document and in the view of the mayor's office, that language was "outside the scope of the MOU and we believe inappropriate for inclusion. As a result, the parties were unable to reach an agreement by the deadline specified in the MOU. It is therefore null and void."

Mayor Jean Stothert is quoted as saying "I am disappointed in Mr. McDonnell's unwillingness to stay within the parameters of our Memo of Understanding."

McDonnell remains on paid administrative leave. Bernie Kanger continues in the role of interim chief.

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