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Long-serving Hastings fire chief resigns after city investigation

Mike Schutt has been fire chief since 2007.
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The City of Hastings has accepted the resignation of its long-serving fire chief, Mike Schutt, after an investigation found he showed poor judgement.

Schutt's resignation was accepted last week, bringing an end to his 12-year tenure as the city's fire chief.

It comes after an investigation found he showed a "lack of professional judgement" when he approved the use of a firetruck to lift a generator off of the roof of a city building that houses the Hastings Police Department.

According to an independent report compiled by a Minneapolis law firm, he did so knowing that a crane was due to lift an air conditioner off the same roof, and could have been used to lift the generator as well.

In the end, the generator tipped over and damaged the roof of the building, costing $312, as well as destroying the generator.

Schutt said he thought the operation was a good training opportunity for firefighters, but according to Rivertowns.net, city council member Lori Braucks said it was "demonstrative of poor judgement and that concerned all of us due to the cost, the danger and the safety issues involved."

As part of the separation agreement agreed to on Aug. 28, forwarded by the City of Hastings to BMTN, Schutt will get to keep his health insurance till the end of May, and will receive a lump sum of $11,107.17 each month between September and May.

He'll also be entitled to payment for 300 unused vacation hours, 104.25 hours of compensatory time, and 640 hours of sick time.

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In exchange, Schutt has waived the right to take any action against the city in relation to his time as fire chief.

The agreement also states there is no wrongdoing by any of the parties involved.

The Star Tribune reports that Schutt has faced disciplinary action in 2013, 2014 and 2017 for "various infractions," including accusations of bullying.

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