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Former assistant chief sues Central Valley Fire Department

By Lauren Maschmedt, KTVM Anchor, lmaschmedt@ktvm.com
Published On: Apr 14 2013 05:13:21 PM MDT
Updated On: Apr 16 2013 09:00:35 AM MDT
BELGRADE, Mont. -

A former assistant chief of the Central Valley Fire Department in Belgrade is demanding a jury trial, after filing a lawsuit against the department.

The lawsuit says the firing was in retaliation for a department scandal he helped uncover.

NBC Montana first reported on an analysis issued by Central Valley Fire Chief Ron Lindroth that called for eliminating the Assistant Chief/Human Resources position, held by Brian Crandell.

The report pointed to maximizing efficiency as the reason.

We read through the court documents on Sunday, and found Crandell is suing on grounds the department had no right to fire him and that he didn't get overtime pay before being fired.

But it goes beyond that- the documents state Crandell's firing was a retaliation for cooperating in the investigation of a theft scandal with former chief Brett Waters. The ordeal led to the chief's resignation, and felony charges.

The records state the report calling for Crandell's elimination was simply a cover up.

"I trust that our justice system will find the truth and do justice," Crandell said over the phone on Sunday.

We made calls to trustees from the CVFD for comment, but weren't able to reach anyone Sunday.

Crandell is asking for the unpaid overtime wages, payment of lost income and punitive damages.