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Arbitration hearing under way for former Edmond assistant fire chief Tim Wheeler

An arbitration hearing started Tuesday for former Edmond assistant fire chief Tim Wheeler.
FROM STAFF REPORTS Published: April 3, 2013

An arbitration hearing for former assistant fire chief Tim Wheeler got under way Tuesday behind closed doors.

Wheeler, who was fired, is seeking reinstatement. He filed a grievance, and an independent arbitrator was chosen to conduct the hearing.

The hearing is being held at the Downtown Community Center and is scheduled to continue on Wednesday, said Jim Moore, Wheeler's attorney. Moore said Wheeler testified for about half the day on Tuesday.

The hearing was closed to the public because it is a personnel matter, Moore said. He said it could be months before the arbitrator makes a ruling.

Wheeler thinks his firing was unjust and wants his job back along with back pay and benefits. He was put on paid administrative leave Oct. 7, 2011. He continued to earn a $100,000-a-year salary until Oct. 1, six days short of a year.

Wheeler was terminated for cause, City Manager Larry Stevens said at the time. City officials would not discuss the reason for his firing and would not discuss the closed hearing on Tuesday.

Wheeler was suspended after an accusation that he pointed a toy gun at another firefighter in May 2011, The Oklahoman was told.