Murray City Fire Chief Walks Off The Job After Heated Argument

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It was anything but a normal meeting in Murray City Monday night as village council members and fire chief Ron Cook butted heads on an issue that prompted Cook to resign from his position.

Councilman Dennis Wolfe questioned Cook on the purchase of a laptop computer and Cook took it personally and stormed out the door after an argument ensued between the two

Wolfe questioned Cook on why he purchased the laptop without prior approval of the council and Cook responded stating that visiting clerk Susan Baker told him to make the purchase. Water clerk Sabrina Bishop verified Cook’s statement and stated she followed up with Baker to make sure the purchase was approved.

Wolfe’s argument was Baker does not have the authority to make that decision and therefore Cook should have asked for approval from council beforehand. However, councilman Robert Pancake stated in a later conversation that he knew of the purchase beforehand.

Cook explained that his old computer was not working and in order to make sure all reports were sent to the state in a timely manner, he needed to purchase the laptop. Wolfe was adamant in the fact that Cook should have asked for approval before spending $500.

Cook’s resignation does not put the village in a good position as Pancake also resigned from the fire department along with several other volunteer firefighters. Although mayor Sharon Koon tried to talk Cook out of his decision, Cook stood strong and as of Tuesday morning had not changed his mind.

In a Facebook statement Monday night Cook stated, “With a heavy heart, I resigned being Murray City Fire Chief tonight due to personal agenda of council members. It’s been an honor to be your chief.”

Craig Churchheus responded, “It’s sad that small town politics has to play such a big role in a thankless job.”

Chad Cook also responded, “Sorry to hear that brother. People don’t know the time and effort you put into a relatively thankless job. The improvements made under your tenure are nothing short of amazing for such a small department. Keep your head up.”

This is not the first time that Wolfe and Cook have butted heads. Throughout the years, the two have had battles over funding and other purchases as well, but it was never to the extent of Cook resigning.

“I’ve had it,” Cook told council. “I’ve had it with Dennis trying to run the village and every department in it. You can have this job, I’m done!”

Although council members agreed losing Cook would be a detriment to the village, Cook says he has no plans of returning.

The Logan Daily News made several attempts to reach out to Koon, but she did not return any phone calls.