Fire chief may be punished for political endorsement
Gloriod endorsement puts Navarro on manager’s hot seat
A decision is expected soon from Colorado Springs City Manager Lorne Kramer regarding City Fire Chief Manual Navarro's
public endorsement of losing District 3 Republican county commissioner candidate Jack Gloriod.
At issue is whether Navarro's action violated the City Policy and Procedure guidelines.
The endorsement was in a glossy flyer mailed to District 3 Republican voters on the eve of the Aug. 10 primary election. The flyer contains a picture of Navarro shaking hands with Gloriod, along with a complimentary statement that concludes, “Please join me in supporting Jack Gloriod in his pursuit of county commissioner for District 3.”
Although not mentioned in the flyer, Navarro has previously been at odds with Sallie Clark - winner of the District 3 Republican primary - dating back to her successful grassroots effort in the late '90s to override his recommendation to eliminate the Westside's Fire Station 3.
“Last night it came to my attention that Chief Navarro had endorsed a political candidate,” City Manager Lorne Kramer states in a press release dated Aug. 11. “This morning I initiated an investigation into those activities and right now this issue is being treated as a personnel matter.”
Sue S. Blumberg, city public communications director, told the Westside Pioneer this week that she anticipates a decision from Kramer by the end of the week.
Under review are clauses in the City Policies and Procedure Manual outlining that employees must not use the authority of their positions to actively support a ballot issue or candidate for election. The City Policies and Procedure Manual, Section 42, states that employees will be subject to discipline for failing to adhere to policy guidelines.
The Westside Pioneer placed a call to Navarro's office for a statement Tuesday, Aug. 17. There was no return call by press deadline Wednesday night, Aug. 18.
Navarro has been city fire chief since 1994.
The District 3 commissioner area covers the Westside, as well as areas north and south, Manitou Springs and Ute Pass.
Westside Pioneer Article from a press release