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“Something is not quite right here in Encinitas, there seems to be a lot of collusion and misinformation within our city government," writes resident Steve Meiche in a June 2 email.

Meiche, a Los Angeles firefighter and Encinitas Taxpayers Association board member, is torching the Encinitas Fire Department with allegations of misconduct, corruption, and lack of oversight. In addition to those claims, Meiche contends that firefighters in the department have failed to respond to emergency calls, been late getting to calls, and have neglected to restock ambulances with emergency medical supplies.

And now, after contacting CalAware, a state public rights agency, Meiche says that he has evidence to back his claims.

"The City of Encinitas has released documents that confirm the accusations of gross misconduct and negligence by fire department employees," read Meiche's email. "[The] fire department disciplinary records provide evidence that Fire Chief [Mark Muir] attempted to engage in a cover up over the accusations of misconduct."

The discovery of the documents comes just before fire department union members are negotiating a new contract for next fiscal year. Meiche worries that the department's budget, six percent higher than last year, includes raises for the firefighters and department heads accused of the misconduct.

“It is possible they could be factoring in a raise for fire department employees. No one knows."


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