Bad Fire Chief. Bad, Bad Fire Chief *Updated*

The City of Brookings Fire Chief is on involuntary leave tonight after he did a bad thing:
Brookings Fire Chief Darrell Hartman has been suspended without pay for
three weeks.


Sheriff Marty Stanwick says two former sheriff's department employees
vandalized one of his campaign signs last October. He says it happened
while they were riding in a city-owned vehicle being driven by Hartman.
Read it all here at

There's got to be more to this than we're hearing.

*UPDATED* - The Brookings Register story is finally on-line with more information:
Brookings County Sheriff Marty Stanwick said he filed a complaint with the City of Brookings on March 30 after he learned that Hartmann, while driving his city-owned fire vehicle, was a witness to a vandalism that occurred last October and the fire chief never reported it to police.

Stanwick said that last fall, the two county correctional officers vandalized one of his campaign signs, located on 22nd Avenue across from the city golf course.

The former county employees have admitted to destroying the 4x4-foot sign, he added.

Stanwick said that the county employees said they were out drinking in downtown Brookings last fall. At the last bar they visited, the pair ran into Hartmann, who offered the two and one of their spouses a ride home because the three had been drinking.

Later, the four people in the city vehicle were riding on 22nd Avenue, Stanwick said. The two correctional officers then asked Hartmann to pull over his SUV so they could go knock down Stanwick’s sign.

"The fire chief pulled over, two of my employees exited the vehicle, destroyed the sign, got back in the vehicle and drove off," Stanwick said.

Hartmann and the spouse of one of the jailers did not get out of the vehicle.

"What bothers me about it the most is that … because I think the fire chief, anytime he’s in his official marked city vehicle, he’s a representative of the City of Brookings. To me these actions were not called for.
Read that all here.

Am I the only one who is catching these parts of the story....

"while driving his city-owned fire vehicle" and "the county employees said they were out drinking in downtown Brookings last fall. At the last bar they visited, the pair ran into Hartmann....."

I'm not privy to the arrangement between Hartmann and the city, but does his city vehicle use a 24/7 arrangement? Even so, I don't know if I'd be out enjoying an adult beverage while that was my mode of transportation.

I think there's more to the story that we're not hearing, such as times and locations. (i.e., 6 in the early evening is better than closing down Ray's Corner.)

But with what's been released to this point, it's bad enough.


Anonymous said…
We should apply pp's standard from the Pierre fire truck crash and give the vandals an "atta boy"!
PP said…
Charley, don't be an ass.

The Pierre crash was a result of poor road conditions for an otherwise experienced driver doing his job.

Certainly not a deliberate act.
Anonymous said…
One wonders why Sheriff Stanwick is investigating the vandalism of his campaign sign. Doesn't that smack of a conflict of interest?
PP said…
"(bad stuff that we don't have conclusive proof for) .....He is lawsuit waiting to happen"

Sorry, 6:26. I've got to kill that comment. If we could document it, I'd let it go.
Anonymous said…

Name-calling – that’s just your speed. Shows the strength of your argument

The citation given to the driver in Pierre was not the result of road conditions. It was the result of the driver not applying the judgment that was expected of him as an operator of a vehicle and thus violating the law. What he did was the opposite of doing his job. He drove without regard to conditions (despite his experience), caused tremendous damage as a consequence of his illegal act, and failed to get to the call.
PP said…
And 9:40, you're not on topic, so you can go bye bye.
Anonymous said…
pp, is that the Darrell Hartman, originally from Pierre?
Anonymous said…
Signs get vandalized or stolen all the time. Get over it, what's the big deal?
PP said…
10:22, I believe so.
PP said…
10:31, I don't have the story in front of me from the Brookings paper, but I think the sign vandalism was the tip of the iceberg....
Anonymous said…
Darrell is a really nice guy and you should all lay off him until he gets to tell his side of the story.

Maybe when PP goes back home to Brookings he can do some interviews and find out the whole story.
Anonymous said…
Pat ... I am very disappointed that you would make a comment like, "I THINK the sign vandalism was the tip of the iceberg" when you really have no clue.

The Register story is online and there is no indication that further questions have been raised. Why cast even more doubt upon this gentleman without any substantive evidence?
PP said…
I'd like to know what the police interviews note at this point..
Anonymous said…
I think this is the stupidist post I ever seen on this blog. Nobody cares about this. If there is any conduct that is objectionable, it is the conduct of the Sheriff. I agree with with anon 6:26
Anonymous said…
South Dakota War College: The National Enquirer of SD Blogs.

Nice work, PP.
Anonymous said…
pp, you it's hard to soar with the eagles when you run with the turkeys.
PP said…
8:40 - that comment is gone. Please don't post that kind of stuff unless you can produce proof at the same time.

And as for the rest of you anonymous commenters - if you don't like it, you're always welcome not to read.

Despite what you might believe, I think people would have a legitimate reason to question a public official's actions given the facts in this matter.
Anonymous said…
Fire Chief, Fire Chief, at the bar.

Fire Chief drives drunks in the Fire Chief car.

The Fire Chief stops, drunks wreck a sign.

Now the Sheriff starts to whine.

Fire Chief, Fire Chief gets a spank.

Anonymous blog comments sound real cranked.

For the city car parked at the city bar, the people were taxed.

Fire Chief should count himself lucky that his job wasn't axed.
Anonymous said…
PP, after reading the content of this thread, I would like to renew my support for mandatory registration.
Anonymous said…
I agree, with anoymous 10:28 (ironically enough)

Registration might help preclude some of the most obnoxious, straw man, irrelevant, multiple, posts.

Anonymous said…
Registration will kill PP's blog, which is why he's torn about it.
Anonymous said…
I appreciate the question on personal use of city vehicles, but where do you have it that the Fire Chief had been drinking.
PP said…
I believe that's why the police interviews might be pertinent.

If the firemen were running into him at the bar (as noted) I think it's important to know where and when. That's going to be the first clue.

2AM at cubby's or Jim's tap is much different than 6pm at one of the places that serves food.

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