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Alderman says city 'mean-spirited'
Former fire chief denied unemployment
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The controversy between the city of McMinnville and its former fire chief Keith Martin is heating up again, rekindled by the state’s denial of Martin’s unemployment benefits.According to information received by the Southern Standard, Martin’s unemployment benefits were denied based on termination reasons the city gave the state after he applied for unemployment.When contacted, Martin refused to comment on the situation other than to confirm the information is accurate. He worked for the city for nearly one year before getting fired in March.The situation hasn’t been well received by one official, who sounded off on the city board. Alderman Billy Wood says a firefighter was terminated at the same time and for the same reason as Martin and he is receiving his unemployment benefits.“I want someone to explain how two people from the same department can be dismissed for the same reason, yet one is allowed to draw unemployment and attempts to stop the chief’s benefits are ongoing,” said Wood.Wood says the city is treating Martin unfairly after he relocated to McMinnville and moved across the country for the fire chief job.“This administration is mean-spirited and cruel,” Wood said.