Hiawatha city commissioner resigns

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HIAWATHA, Kan. (WIBW) -- The Hiawatha City Commission is now looking for a new commissioner.

The current commissioner, John Merchant, Jr., resigned at Monday’s meeting after failing to reinstate recently terminated Fire Chief Ryan Shockley, according to the Hiawatha World.

Assistant Fire Chief Paul Schaefer defended Shockley’s work and leadership while discussing how to get him reinstated.

Merchant responded with a motion to reinstate Shockley, but was left unanswered as no one supported the motion. At that point, he reportedly announced his resignation. He cited concerns he had in regard to the Commission, such as a lack of accountability and ease of access for community members.

The Hiawatha Commission has 10 days to find a replacement commissioner.