Former Fire Chief Lynde responds to removal

Former Osseo Fire Chief Mark Lynde recently spoke about being removed in 2012 as the chief and his lawsuit against the city.

The lawsuit between Lynde and the city took just more than a year.

As chief, Lynde said he wanted to help get the department back in line with what the city and council wanted. He asked repeatedly for some direction from the council but never got any. He said city staff told him it wasn’t about right or wrong when asked if he’d done something wrong.

“How do you give leadership without any direction?” he added. “I tried to give the best leadership I could to the department.”

He wished the council would vote on what is best for the city and not make decisions on its own beliefs. Lynde said there was no reason given to him for why he was removed, but felt that some people wanted their friend in the chief’s position.

“The lawsuit against the city was never about the money,” he said. “The lawsuit was only to protect my name. I didn’t want any wrong accusations to be misleading.”

Lynde said he is happy with the outcome of the lawsuit. “It was a joint outcome between me and city,” he said. “Everyone gets to move on and I get to clear my name.”

He said he does not like the fact that the lawsuit cost the city with insurance rates that are sure to increase next year.

Lynde added that he feels department heads shouldn’t be judged by who is on the council, but should be judged based on performance.

“I’m not bitter, I love the city of Osseo,” Lynde said. “But now it’s time to move on.”

He said he will remain as firefighter for the Osseo Fire Department.