WYOMING, Mich. (WOOD) — Wyoming city leaders wrote that the city’s former fire chief who was fired earlier this month was “not meeting the city’s expectations.”

The city split with Chief Brian Bennett earlier this month but wouldn’t say why at the time.

In a March 7 memo in Bennett’s personnel file obtained by News 8 on Wednesday afternoon, Wyoming City Manager John McCarter wrote, “As we have discussed today, after a lot of thought and consideration, and in consultation with police Chief Kim Koster, I have decided that it is time to separate your employment with the city.”

McCarter thanked Bennett for his contributions but said, “Your performance is not meeting the city’s expectations.”

“We understand that you may not agree with the decision, but in accordance with your employment agreement, you serve at the pleasure of the city manager,” the memo went on.

His personnel file includes record of a verbal warning from Oct. 2022 in which he was reprimanded for not immediately informing police about a firefighter who had been injured on the job and taken to the hospital.

The form reads: “DD Snyder advised me that he had just learned of the information when talking to human resources on another matter. HR advised him that the employee was first seen at med one before being directed by medical staff to go to the hospital for treatment.” 

According to the documents, a supervisor had to text Bennett to confirm a firefighter was injured. Bennett confirmed he was at the hospital with the employee who suffered an injury in training.

“We talked numerous times in the past about the importance of communication, especially when it involves issues with our personnel,” read the document.

The Wyoming fire department requires notification be sent to the deputy director or a supervisor when critical incidents occur.

“However, you have continued to not communicate which not only leaves the employee and our agency at risk, but also hinders my ability to provide proper insight,” it continued.

It also mentions another example of “lack of communication” regarding a fire department ceremony that was not previously approved or discussed with the appropriate public safety employees and city staff.

It reads , “Although this was something that I would approve, it was not something we had previously discussed. there was no communication on the details or planning for the event which would involve public safety employees, the community, council members, the city manager, and other city staff.”

The corrective actions said Bennett was required to communicate with the deputy director and the supervisor regarding the operation of the fire services division, give proper notification and respond to correspondence in a timely manner.

Bennett’s personnel file also contained information on his performance reviews, which rated him as a good or high quality performance dating back to 2016 through 2018, when he was promoted to fire chief.

Bennett signed a separation agreement that became effective March 7.

“As we discussed today, after a lot of thought and consideration, and in consultation with Chief Koster, I have decided that it is time to separate your employment with the city. We appreciate your contributions over the years, but your performance is not meeting the city’s expectations,” the McCarter wrote.

The separation agreement gave Bennett six months’ pay, totaling more than $53,000. He had been chief since 2018.