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Ousted Travis fire chief reinstated; District No. 11 board puts chief on 30-day probationary period

Kate Alexander, American-Statesman Staff

A newly rejiggered board of the Emergency Services District No. 11 reinstated Fire Chief Mike Herman on Wednesday night, to the dismay of his vocal critics.

Del Valle businessman Bill Swinney, appointed Tuesday by the Travis County Commissioners Court, tipped the balance of the 3-2 vote in favor of reappointing Herman as head of Travis County Fire Rescue for a 30-day probationary period.

The board will conduct a full performance review and then decide his future employment.Herman was unexpectedly ousted April 19 because he had failed to fulfill two requirements of his contract within the first year of his $70,000, five-year contract. Confusion and anger ensued as the board and Herman disagreed on whether he resigned.

“I knew this was a tough job when I took it,” Herman said Wednesday night. “I just look forward to moving forward.”

Swinney replaced the board’s president, John Foradory, who had voted with the majority to oust Herman. Foradory had not been reappointed at the end of his term in January.

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