News Column

Pinole set to give interim fire chief Piper permanent position

May 20, 2014

By Tom Lochner, The Oakland Tribune



May 20--PINOLE -- Robert Piper, the city's interim fire chief, will become the permanent fire chief pending City Council approval of a contract.

A retired San Jose deputy fire chief, Piper became Pinole's interim fire chief in February. He replaced Carlos Rodriguez, who had to quit as Pinole's interim chief because he had served the maximum number of 960 hours in a fiscal year allowed under California Public Employees Retirement System rules.

Piper faces no such restriction in Pinole because San Jose, the agency he retired from, has a different retirement system.

Piper's annual pension from San Jose is $170,700, said the director of that city's Department of Retirement Services, Roberto Pena. Piper also is entitled to lifetime medical benefits.

Piper worked with the San Jose Fire Department for 29 years; as deputy fire chief from 2000-2004, he directed the Bureau of Education and Training and EMS, according to his resume.

Applicants for Pinole fire chief were interviewed by an independent assessment panel of professional fire chiefs and then by a community panel, City Manager Belinda Espinosa said in her latest weekly report, adding, "Rob was selected as the number one candidate by both panels."

It was not known late Monday what Piper's remuneration would be in Pinole or when a contract will go before the council.

Contact Tom Lochner at 510-262-2760. Follow him at Twitter.com/tomlochner.

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(c)2014 The Oakland Tribune (Oakland, Calif.)

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Source: Oakland Tribune (CA)


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