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Black Forest fire chief's medical leave raises questions

Bob Harvey may not have followed board policy

Questions Surround Black Forest Fire Chief's Medical Leave

BLACK FOREST, Colo. - Black Forest Fire Chief Bob Harvey has been on medical leave for two weeks but he may not qualify for it.

Harvey began his leave two weeks ago, on June 5, a day after he notified the Fire and Rescue Protection District Board of his intentions by letter.  KRDO NewsChannel 13 received a copy of the letter Friday after filing a request through the Colorado Open Records Act.

According to board policy, an employee seeking leave for a serious health condition must notify the board at least 30 days in advance, if the leave is expected.  For unexpected leaves, an employee must contact a superior officer as early as possible.

It's unclear what category's Harvey's leave falls under, and who his superior officer is.

What also hasn't been explained is whether Harvey followed policy by submitting an "appropriate" certification from his doctor that includes when Harvey's medical condition began, when he plans to return to work and a diagnosis.

Harvey cited symptoms of post traumatic stress disorder from last summer's wildfire in Black Forest as a reason for taking medical leave.  He also blamed "certain members" of the newly-elected fire board for threatening his job and creating a hostile work environment.

Rick McMorran, the fire board chairman, said he believes Harvey didn't violate policy, and said an attorney possibly will look into the matter.  McMorran declined to elaborate, saying the situation is a personnel matter.

Below is the text of Harvey's letter:

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