Rob Grimwood, who began working at the Niagara-on-the-Lake Fire Department since 1996, is no longer the town’s fire chief.
Deputy chief Nick Ruller is now interim fire chief but town spokesperson Victoria Steele refused to provide any further information, saying the town doesn’t comment on personnel matters.
Town councillors said they received an email from director of operations Sheldon Randall, who is also interim chief administrative officer, informing them of Grimwood’s departure. Randall is filling in for CAO Holly Dowd, who is on sick leave.
When The Lake Report called a phone number listed online under Grimwood’s name, the person who answered said Grimwood doesn’t live there.
Grimwood’s leave is not something that town council was involved in, said Lord Mayor Betty Disero.
“As a head of council, I can only tell you council has the authority over the hiring and firing of the CAO and not the administration,” she said.
“This is a matter of personnel. I’m not going to talk about a personnel issue in public. It is something that is done in an in-camera session of council and if I make any comment to you with respect to that, I’d be violating the council confidential session and I’m not prepared to do that.”
In an email response to The Lake Report, Randall said Grimwood left to pursue other endeavours.
Disero said she isn’t sure what the other endeavours Grimwood is going to pursue but she wishes him luck in his career.
Coun. Wendy Cheropita said Grimwood was “absolutely professional” and seemed to run the organization “extremely well.”
“I must say I was always impressed with him as I am with Nick Ruller,” Cheropita said. “He’s equally as impressive. Very efficient, very effective.”
Coun. Gary Burroughs said councillors were aware Grimwood would be leaving the town prior to the official announcement but refused to comment any further. Other councillors declined to comment as well.