MERIDIAN, Miss. — The Meridian Firefighters Association has issued a vote of no confidence against the Meridian Fire Department’s chief and deputy chief.

Ninety-nine percent of firefighters who participated in the vote last week voted no confidence against Fire Chief Anthony Clayton and Deputy Chief Ricky Leister, The Meridian Star (http://bit.ly/2cxO5qQ) reported.

The association sent a letter to Mayor Percy Bland detailing its vote. In it, the association cited a lack of leadership, a failure to respond to firefighter safety concerns and a lack of overall concern for the well-being of members.

Firefighter association president Kyle Wilbanks said in another news release that the association had never before held a vote of no confidence against the department’s chief.

In response to the vote, Bland defended the chief and deputy chief, praising their work.

“Our Fire Chief and Deputy Fire Chief, former union members, rose through the ranks of the Meridian Fire Department to their current positions,” Bland said. “They have both done a great job with the resources available to them.”

Bland added that the city would continue to work with the association to address some of their concerns.

Clayton couldn’t be reached for comment by the newspaper. Leister said he couldn’t comment.


Information from: The Meridian Star, http://www.meridianstar.com