Medford Pays Thousands to Avoid Lawsuit

Medford ChiefMEDFORD, Ore. — The former Medford-fire chief was given thousands of dollars so the city could avoid an age discrimination lawsuit.

NewsWatch 12 spoke with former Fire Chief, Dave Bierwiler, who is now in Colorado. He says initially, he felt he was fired because of his age.

Bierwiler says, instead, the city settled a deal with him, which includes a severage package of more than $71,008 to avoid the lawsuit. He said he now believes he was fired because he did not support a consolidation effort with Fire District 3.

“If you take a look at the termination agreement, it was not about my performance – it was fine. It was about a new boss coming in and wanting to make some changes and he has the power and authority to do that,” said Bierwiler.

Newswatch 12 tried contacting City Manager Eric Swanson, but he did not return our calls. City rules allow city officials let go managing employees at any time.

Bierwiler was the fire chief at Medford-Fire for 25 years. He plans to use his experience to teach a leadership class with the International Association of Chiefs of Police.