TWIN FALLS — Weeks after being placed on administrative leave, Twin Falls’ fire chief has resigned.
Tim Soule sent a letter late Friday notifying city administration of his immediate resignation. The city announced Tuesday that it accepted. Soule had been on paid administrative since Aug. 29 as the city conducted an investigation. City officials have declined to disclose what they were probing, other than to say it was not connected to criminal activity.
Tuesday marked one year to the date since Soule was sworn in as fire chief, with an annual salary of $123,188.
According to a legal separation agreement obtained by the Times-News, Soule will continue to be paid through Dec. 16, representing gross pay of $26,059. After withholding and retirement, the net salary payment is $18,823.53.
Additionally, the city has agreed to pay out $7,832.51 in gross pay for accrued vacation; $2,538.78 for insurance and $4,341.43 for the employer’s retirement contribution.
The parties also agreed to the specific wording in a press release to announce Soule’s departure.
City Manager Travis Rothweiler said in a statement: “Soule possesses a wealth of knowledge and experience about fire and emergency response services. It’s difficult for us to lose that, but we also recognize that not all professional relationships are the right fit, and moving in a new direction will benefit the organization and community.”
The city does not intend to publicly discuss what led Soule to leave, but it will explain the reasons to battalion chiefs, union representatives and other fire department leadership, according to agreement. But only if they sign non-disclosure agreements that prohibit them from telling others what they learn.
Soule also issued a statement: “The Twin Falls community is fortunate to have such outstanding men and women serving their life safety needs with the Twin Falls Fire Department. I am grateful for the opportunity to have been a part of initiatives, over the past year, that have benefited the Department, City and surrounding community.”
An Ohio native, Soule began his firefighting career in the suburbs of Cleveland before moving on to Kalispell, Mont. Prior to moving to Twin Falls, he served as deputy chief of the East Fork Fire Protection District in Minden, Nev. He has more than 25 years of experience in fire and emergency services.
Soule was selected from among three semi-finalist candidates based on qualifications in emergency management, leadership and community involvement.
Since his leave from duty, the department’s operations have been managed by three battalion chiefs, with the captains reporting to them.