Turlock

Turlock fire chief was terminated, firefighter union says. It blames ‘bean counters’

Turlock fire station closures

Turlock City Manager Bob Lawton asks Fire Chief Robert Talloni to explain how the station closures would work during a Tuesday, June 11, budget workshop.
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Turlock City Manager Bob Lawton asks Fire Chief Robert Talloni to explain how the station closures would work during a Tuesday, June 11, budget workshop.

Turlock Fire Chief Robert Talloni has been terminated, according to a Facebook post Thursday by the firefighter union that cited a recent dispute over service levels.

City Manager Robert Lawton, who has the authority to make this move, told The Modesto Bee by phone that personnel rules keep him from commenting.

Talloni, who was hired in December 2015, could not be reached Thursday evening. Mayor Amy Bublak said by phone that she could not comment.

The reported firing comes nine days after the Turlock City Council voted 5-0 for a budget that trims spending in the fiscal year that will start Monday, July 1. The plan includes closing one of the city’s four fire stations one third to one half of the time.

The post by Turlock Firefighers Local 2434 said the chief has always worked with the rank-and-file employees to keep the public safe.

“Central to this fight has been the ongoing plot by bean counters in city hall scheming to reduce the number of firefighters protecting this city and gamble with public safety. Chief Talloni stood up against these dangerous schemes and continued to fight for your safety and the safety of Turlock Firefighters. Today Chief Talloni paid the price for that fight.”

Talloni came to Turlock from a teaching post at the National Fire Academy in Maryland. Before that, he was fire chief in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, and deputy chief in Norwalk, Connecticut.

Talloni also served as interim city manager in Turlock after the 2017 retirement of Gary Hampton.

We will have more on this developing story.

John Holland covers breaking news and has been with The Modesto Bee since 2000. He has covered agriculture for the Bee and at newspapers in Sonora and Visalia. He was born and raised in San Francisco and has a journalism degree from UC Berkeley.
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