Marysville fire chief put on leave reaches deal, agrees to retire

Martin McFalls led the agency since 2015. “The board felt it was time to go a different direction. No harm, no foul.”

Martin McFalls (Marysville Fire District)

Martin McFalls (Marysville Fire District)

MARYSVILLE — Fire Chief Martin McFalls, who was put on paid administrative leave in mid-May, has retired under a negotiated deal with the Marysville Fire District.

McFalls’ last day was June 30 under terms of the six-page separation agreement intended to “fully resolve all matters and relations” between him and the district. McFalls had been employed under a contract that ran through the end of this year.

“I’m just nothing but thankful and grateful … to be able to have done something for a community I love,” McFalls, a lifelong Marysville resident, said Friday. “I don’t want to have any sour grapes. The board felt it was time to go a different direction. No harm, no foul. I wish Marysville Fire District nothing but the best.”

He signed the agreement June 21. The district’s Board of Directors unanimously approved it in a special meeting June 23.

McFalls, 58, gets a lump sum payment of $198,674.18. That covers six months of salary for severance pay “as additional consideration for this agreement,” plus a buy out of 820.5 hours of accrued but unused vacation and sick leave.

It also takes into account $2,202 that McFalls owed the district after it was learned he had been “inadvertently” overpaid between January and April of this year. The error was discovered by an employee during calculation of McFalls’ final payout.

Non-represented employees got a 3.5% pay hike this year and district staff applied it to McFalls salary as well in error. The board sets the fire chief’s compensation and had not approved such a wage hike.

McFalls exited after nearly 34 years of firefighting service for the city of Marysville. He was hired as a part-time firefighter in 1988 and became full-time in 1990. He served stints as a lieutenant, battalion chief, and assistant chief before being named chief in 2015. He continued in that position after voters approved creation of the Marysville Fire District, a regional fire authority.

“I loved serving and it was a great career,” he said. “I would do it all again if I could.”

The district issued a statement Thursday thanking McFalls “for his many years of service to the community.”

The statement made no mention of the agreement nor explained why McFalls was placed on paid leave May 16 by the district’s Board of Directors.

“There are no further comments beyond our statement regarding Chief McFalls’ retirement on June 30, 2022,” a district spokesperson said Friday.

Nobody told McFalls exactly why he was put on leave, he said. “I don’t want to say anything without facts,” he said.

He noted that the action coincided with the start of conversation with the board on the separation agreement.

“I was going to retire at the end of the year. It was close enough for me,” he said. “It was all fair.”

Deputy Chief Darryl Neuhoff has served as acting chief. He’ll continue in the role as the district carries out a search for a new chief. Details on the search process have not yet been finalized, according to the district.

Jerry Cornfield: 360-352-8623;; Twitter: @dospueblos.

Talk to us

More in Local News

Emergency responders surround an ultralight airplane that crashed Friday, Sept. 22, 2023, at the Arlington Municipal Airport in Arlington, Washington, resulting in the pilot's death. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
Pilot dead in ultralight plane crash at Arlington Municipal Airport

There were no other injuries or fatalities reported, a city spokesperson said.

An example of the Malicious Women Co. products (left) vs. the Malicious Mermaid's products (right). (U.S. District Court in Florida)
Judge: Cheeky candle copycat must pay Snohomish company over $800K

The owner of the Malicious Women Co. doesn’t expect to receive any money from the Malicious Mermaid, a Florida-based copycat.

A grave marker for Blaze the horse. (Photo provided)
After Darrington woman’s horse died, she didn’t know what to do

Sidney Montooth boarded her horse Blaze. When he died, she was “a wreck” — and at a loss as to what to do with his remains.

A fatal accident the afternoon of Dec. 18 near Clinton ended with one of the cars involved bursting into flames. The driver of the fully engulfed car was outside of the vehicle by the time first responders arrived at the scene. (Whidbey News-Times/Submitted photo)
Driver sentenced in 2021 crash that killed Everett couple

Danielle Cruz, formerly of Lynnwood, gets 17½ years in prison. She was impaired by drugs when she caused the crash that killed Sharon Gamble and Kenneth Weikle.

A person walks out of the Everett Clinic on Thursday, Sept. 7, 2023 in Everett, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
The Everett Clinic changing name to parent company Optum in 2024

The parent company says the name change will not affect quality of care for patients in Snohomish County.

Tirhas Tesfatsion (GoFundMe) 20210727
Lynnwood settles for $1.7 million after 2021 suicide at city jail

Jail staff reportedly committed 16 safety check violations before they found Tirhas Tesfatsion, 47, unresponsive in her cell.

Appeals court orders new trial in Everett woman’s stomping death

Appellate judges ruled that additional evidence should have been admitted in Jamel Alexander’s trial for the murder of Shawna Brune.

William Gore, left, holds the hand of Skylar, 9, in a Baby Yoda sweatshirt as they go for a walk in the rain at Forest Park on Monday, Sept. 25, 2023 in Everett, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Keep your umbrellas, rain gear handy this week in Snohomish County

The National Weather Service says up to 1½ inches are possible through Wednesday.

The city of Mukilteo is having a naming contest for its new $75,000 RC Mowers R-52, a remote-operated robotic mower. (Submitted photo)
Mukilteo muncher: Name the $75,000 robot mower

The city is having a naming contest for its new sod-slaying, hedge-hogging, forest-clumping, Mr-mow-it-all.

Most Read