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John Ingrao resigns as Hoodland Fire Chief posted on 09/01/2020

John Ingrao resigned as the Hoodland Fire District Fire Chief, effective July 31. Ingrao had served as the Fire Chief since January 2017 but had been placed on administrative leave in March by the district’s board of directors, pending an investigation. His resignation effectively ends the investigation.

Board chair Shirley Dueber had no comment on the investigation.

Interim Fire Chief Steven Abel, who was hired in March to oversee the district during Ingrao’s absence, noted the board approved the first reading of a draft job description for a new Fire Chief at a Thursday, Aug. 27 work session. The board could approve the second reading at the Tuesday, Sept. 8 board meeting and the recruitment process could begin after that, which will be coordinated by the Special Districts Association of Oregon (SDAO).

Abel noted the position could be advertised for a 30-day period as early as the middle of September, with interviews potentially lined up for the second week of November.

“Then it's a matter of timing … making sure we have the right candidate for Hoodland and the person’s availability,” Abel said, adding that he hopes the process is complete by mid-December and that he will assist the SDAO.

Chief Abel also noted he asked the board to approve a job description for a division chief, shifting from the search for a Deputy Chief position that had been underway, while noting there is no timeline for finding candidates for the new position.

He added it is intended to meet the intent of a levy passed by voters in May 2019 to fund a Deputy Chief position, a process that began in November 2019 only to restart this past February after not enough applicants came forward.

Abel appointed Scott Kline earlier this year as the Deputy Chief on an interim basis.

“I think we have great talent here within the organization,” Abel added.

By Garth Guibord/MT

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