At Monday’s council meeting, the City Council approved Mayor Rodney “Buck” Christian’s decision to terminate Davis by a 4-0 vote.
The termination follows an incident last month in which two premature stillborn fetuses were flushed down a toilet at an Odenville residence.
Christian placed Davis on administrative leave with pay following the July 23 incident, but decided three weeks later to terminate him.
“On Aug. 12, Davis was given a letter of termination by myself in the presence of Mayor Pro-Tem Jimmy Bailey,” Christian said. “In that letter, it plainly stated his right to a due process hearing before the mayor and council.”
Christian said he asked Davis to notify him within seven days if he wanted to pursue the hearing.
“Davis did not notify me within that time frame, therefore waiving his right to a due process hearing,” Christian said. “Basically, that means he was terminated as of Aug. 12.”
The mayor terminated Davis based on a section in the Code of Alabama.
At an Odenville Council meeting two weeks ago, firefighter/paramedic Jared Wyatt read from a prepared statement in support of Davis and said members of the Fire Department wanted him to remain as fire chief.
“The guidance, leadership and dedication he has provided to our department, without question, is second to none. His commitment to our community as a whole is an inspiration to every member, both paid and volunteer. He has given to this town more than can ever be repaid. And the only thing asked in return is to allow him to continue serving our community,” Wyatt read.
Davis, who was not at that the council meeting, said the following day he was touched by the outpouring of support.
“The Fire Department, my guys, you get a bond,” Davis said. “It’s more like a family. I didn’t ask them to do that. When I heard they were doing it, it meant a whole lot to me.”
Davis said there is a lot of love in the Fire Department.
“We are family and some of the younger volunteers are like my kids,” he said. “Some of the older ones are like my brothers and sisters. It’s a bond, and it’s very hard to explain. I appreciate what they did. I’m sure the mayor and council listened and saw the sincerity on Jared Wyatt’s face.”
St. Clair County Sheriff Terry Surles said after hearing an allegation that two fetuses were disposed of in a toilet, the Sheriff’s Department started an investigation “by going into the septic tank to recover the bodies.”
Surles said once their investigation is complete, they will turn over everything to a grand jury, which is expected to convene in October.
Two weeks ago, Davis said the day the incident occurred, he and the Regional Paramedic Services medic were the only two emergency workers on the scene.
“There were two of us there, and we followed protocol,” Davis said. “We followed the state protocol issued by the medic who was in charge at the scene.”
Christian said the search for a new fire chief will not be a fast process.
“We will search for a new fire chief within the Odenville Fire Department first,” he said.
At Monday’s meeting, Thomas Graves was named acting fire chief by the mayor.
Davis was not available for comment Monday.
Contact Gary Hanner at firstname.lastname@example.org