Thursday, May 24, 2012

Kenner Fire Chief In Hot Water Over Supplemental Educational Pay

Kenner Fire Chief John Hellmers, who has made a series of controversial decisions including purchasing expensive fire trucks from a politically connected vendor, is in hot water over a decision that he made which effects himself.
ClickJefferson has learned that an internal audit of the Kenner Fire Department’s Supplemental Educational Compensation will show that for several years Chief Hellmers has claimed educational compensation that he was not entitled to receive.

The Kenner Fire Departments has three levels of Supplemental Educational Compensation that each pay $600 annually to those who qualify.  Chief Hellmers has filed, and received, 2 of the 3 levels of compensation for several years although he only qualified for 1 supplemental payment.
Acting upon information received from multiple sources, ClickJefferson filed a Public Records Request to view Chief Hellmers’ payroll stubs for recent years. We then followed up with the Kenner Civil Service Department and the Kenner Fire Department to get a specific explanation as to the different levels of compensation and what qualifications were required to receive each level of compensation. The Kenner Civil Service Department was unaware of the supplemental compensation and the Kenner Fire Department failed to respond to multiple requests.

ClickJefferson then attempted to contact Chief Hellmers directly via telephone and email to ask the Chief to explain the Supplemental Compensation requirements and to show proof that he was entitled to receive the extra compensation that he claimed. Chief Hellmers did not respond to our requests.

According to sources close to the Kenner Fire Department, Chief Hellmers has been given an ultimatum: prove you meet the requirements for the additional compensation before Friday, 5/25/2012, or the Yenni Administration will take further personnel action.
ClickJefferson has also learned that a personnel complaint was filed against Chief Hellmers by a KFD applicant who was denied the opportunity to join the KFD. The applicant was told by Chief Hellmers that the applicant had failed a pre-employment medical test. The applicant discussed the test results with the Doctor who administered the test and was told that the applicant had passed the test and that Chief Hellmers was mistaken.

ClickJefferson will keep you posted on the continuing drama surrounding Kenner Fire Chief John Hellmers.