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City of Spokane places Chism on unpaid layoff status

Todd Chism (Jesse Tinsley / The Spokesman Review)
Todd Chism (Jesse Tinsley / The Spokesman Review)

Spokane firefighter Todd Chism has been placed on unpaid layoff status pending the resolution of felony charges that he assaulted Washington State Patrol troopers in Stevens County last month.

City Administrator Ted Danek informed Chism, a lieutenant, of the change during an afternoon meeting at City Hall today, said city spokeswoman Marlene Feist. The change takes effect Friday.

Chism earned $93,535 per year.

Chism had been on paid leave from the Spokane Fire Department since April 8, two days after an early-morning confrontation with two troopers alongside Highway 291 just outside the driveway to Chism’s home.

Troopers said Chism, who was exonerated in a child pornography investigation two years ago, grew angry after one trooper said he seemed familiar. That led to a brawl in which Chism was stunned with a Taser several times. One trooper broke his thumb; another severely injured a hand. Chism suffered cuts and bruises on his face.

Chism is to be arraigned May 18 in Stevens County Superior Court on two felony counts of third-degree assault and two misdemeanors: resisting arrest and being in physical control of a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol.

Unpaid layoff status means Chism is no longer employed by the city of Spokane but could be reinstated if felony charges are dropped or reduced to misdemeanors.

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