The Iowa Supreme Court has ruled that the City of Sioux City was within its rights to fire a longtime firefighter, reversing the order of a lower court to reinstate the firefighter.
The 5-2 ruling filed June 9th upholds the city’s firing of former Master Firefighter Larry Whitwer.
Whitwer had pleaded guilty in 2012 to domestic abuse assault and signed a “last-chance agreement” agreed to by the city and firefighter’s union that allowed him to keep his job unless he violated the law or a no-contact order.
In 2013, Whitwer, who had been a firefighter for over 20 years, was fired after being arrested for violating the no-contact order.
A judge ruled in 2015 that Whitwer’s “last-chance agreement” was still subject to review and approval by the Civil Service Commission.
The state Supreme Court cited legal precedent in upholding the validity of last-chance agreements and upheld the city’s firing of Whitwer.