Soisson improving after 'major life event'

Cary Ashby • Jun 20, 2019 at 5:00 PM

Norwalk Safety-Service Director Ellen Heinz provided council members with an update on fire Chief John Soisson, saying he had experience “a major life event.”

“Some people have asked about Chief John Soisson,” Heinz said during the meeting Tuesday.

“At this time we don’t have any more information to share about Chief Soisson other than he had a major life event and we want to give our full support to Chief Soisson and his family and friends. John is an extremely important leader and beloved member of the entire Norwalk community,” she added while reading a statement.

“In addition to giving him our full support, we are confident we have the necessary personnel structure in place to provide appropriate coverage and (a) seamless continuity of operations. As we can share more, we will.”

Council went into an executive session on undisclosed personnel matters Tuesday. Council members, Heinz, law director Stuart O’Hara and finance director Michelle Reeder returned after nine minutes with no action following the session. Mayor Rob Duncan arrived at the meeting later, having delivered a proclamation at the Norwalk Kiwanis which celebrated its 100th anniversary Tuesday.

Heinz, after the council meeting, was asked who was the acting chief.

“Our executive officer is Rick Perry; that is part of his role. But we also are utilizing a shared leadership at the department. Chief Soisson has done an excellent of job of empowering and engaging his leadership team. His leadership team is very experienced, very talented and (are) very seasoned professionals who will do an outstanding job supporting the department at this time,” she said.

“We hope to have more information in the next few weeks.”

Perry said Wednesday things at the fire department are going “as smooth as it can.” He was unable to provide further information.

Heinz was asked how long Soisson would be out.

“We don’t have any more information,” she said, noting she couldn’t provide details due to privacy concerns. “He is making positive improvements and we will fully support Chief Soisson in every way we can.”

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