Lincoln’s Firetrucks: Who’s To Blame?

There's more fuel being added to the fire…over Friday's resignation of Lincoln Fire Chief Mike Spadt.    That's when Mayor Coleen Seng asked him to step aside.

It all came about as the result of a controversy about inspections of seven new fire trucks.    Spadt was among three fire officials who inspected the trucks at a Florida plant in December.

Spadt says he shouldn't be to blame for the firetrucks failing inspections.    Now.. His maintanence chief says he's not to blame either.   

The controversy over Lincoln's brand new fire trucks is heating up…   Mayor Coleen Seng says Fire Chief Mike Spadt repeatedly told her the firetrucks, which cost the city more than 2 million dollars, all met inspection requirements.  But, none of them do.   

According to Associated Press reports… Spadt says that he took the word of Deputy Chief of Maintenance Dennis Klein that the trucks had all the support beams, or cross members, the city ordered.    But instead of the seven required beams, the trucks only had four, upon their delivery.    That could cause the firetrucks, to sway while moving.

In a phone interview, Klein's attorney, James Luers, says Klein has a much different story than Spadt.   Klein says he fulfilled all the obligations of his job, when he inspected the trucks, and reported concerns about their construction to his superiors.   But that what they ultimately chose to do with that information or how they acted on it was solely their responsibility, not Klein's.

Spadt says he doesn't have the technical expertise to check all the specs, and he signed off on Klein's opinion.   

Klein remains on the job.    The mayor has put Assistant Chief Rich Furasek in charge, as the interim fire chief until she names a permanent replacement.