Written by Brian Maass
DENVER (CBS4) – The former chief of the Fairmount Fire Protection District has filed a legal notice that he may sue his former employer for $5 million.

In legal documents obtained by CBS4, the former chief, Don Angell, cites numerous reasons for a potential lawsuit including “illegal and wrongful termination” and “false and defamatory reasons for the … termination.”

Angell’s lawyer, John R. Olsen, did not return several phone messages left at his Niwot office.

The Fairmount Fire District board fired Angell March 31 citing “administrative differences.” The district is located between Golden, Arvada and Wheat Ridge and employs a mixture of professional and volunteer firefighters. Angell filed the legal notice May 23.

In the legal notice filed with Fairmount, Angell said the district denied him due process throughout the termination and “It also appears that you terminated the claimant in part for his legal and personal activities while not at work, in violation of Colorado statute. You have destroyed the claimant’s career, virtually assuring that he will never again obtain employment in his chosen career path as a professional firefighter.”

In 2009 CBS4 investigations into Angell’s business practices brought about changes at the fire agency. The CBS4 probe found Angell had taxpayers paying thousands of dollars for cell phones for his wife and the wives of other top commanders. The department discontinued the practice after the broadcast investigation.

Angell also got in hot water for building a massive training facility for his department without ever securing any permits.


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