I find this story very intriguing;

A former Sioux Falls firefighter is facing serious felony charges.

47-year-old Patrick Warren, who was a division fire chief, has been indicted on 15 counts of hacking into the department’s computer system.  At this time, authorities aren’t sure what his intent was, but we do know Warren is no longer working for the department.

I have NO CLUE why he would want to look at the files, but I highly doubt it had to do with just curiosity. There is a bigger reason. Why would a Division Chief making $104K a year awaiting a great pension risk his job by doing this if he wasn’t ‘suspicious’ about something. Or could he have been doing someone elses dirty work.

I noticed in an early article he resigned in May or August(?). Funny how this just surfaced a few days ago.

It will be fun to watch this unfold, I especially want to know what the picture of ‘sucking up’ was.


A friend recently sent me the above picture. Apparently some people in his neighborhood think it is okay to bury the fire hydrant. Not only does it endanger their own property, it endangers other people on the block.

It’s not like Sioux Falls has not tried to get people to clear their hydrants much less get people to NOT bury them. What is the financial, criminal or civil penalty for this stupidity other than death or loss of property? While I am not big on turning your neighbor in for code violations, if you do see someone burying the fire hydrant, please report the incident to the SFFD or talk to your neighbor about it.

Here are several stories about consequences;

City of Sioux Falls Code Enforcement – Snow Removal – Fire Hydrant

Buried Fire Hydrants Can Be ‘Life and Death’ Situation

Clearing Snow From Fire Hydrants

Garage Fire Carries Reminder to Clear Hydrants

Fire Rescue asks you to keep hydrants clear

I said I would remain quiet on this topic until it played out in court. Well the ruling is in, and so is DL’s opinion on the matter;

Sioux Falls Assistant City Attorney Keith Allenstein has pleaded guilty to drunken driving, Attorney General Marty Jackley announced Wednesday.

City Attorney Dave Pfeifle said Allenstein will continue serving in his current position as legal adviser to both the Sioux Falls police and fire departments.

“Both chiefs in those departments have expressed the utmost confidence in his ability to perform his job,” Pfeifle said.

Do I think Allenstein should lose his job over the conviction? Probably not, not to mention, I am also not his manager, so if the conviction doesn’t impede on his job performance I see no reason to cut him loose. BUT, I will say this, it’s not like Keith is the chief goose crap bike trail scraper for the Parks & Rec department, he is a city attorney whose position with that office is to advise the SFPD and FD. I am uncomfortable with him advising law enforcement on any issue if he can’t even abide by traffic laws himself. I think his position should be changed and a demotion should be considered.

All that being said, what frustrates me the most about this case is the blatant hypocrisy of this administration, especially towards women.

City Clerk Debra Owen was fired over (allegedly) an employee conflict issue. She had to be replaced by three people.

Head Librarian Sally Felix was fired (asked to retire) because of her disagreements with her boss.

We also must look at another city attorney who was (allegedly) fired because he (allegedly) got caught fixing a ticket for one of his children. Not a minor offense, and definitely something worth being terminated over.

So you ask yourself, if the city attorney who advises the PD and FD can plead guilty to DUI and not have any repercussions, what is the BAR for a terminating offense with Huether? I guess it is OK to drive drunk, just don’t disagree with your boss.

I’m just throwing the idea out there, but could we use firefighters to help in tree trimming around the city? I just watched this video of the new green truck the fire department has purchased. It seems the truck is perfectly outfitted for things like simple tree trimming.

And I am not saying the FD needs to ditch their regular duties, but could the truck be used to help trim trees for the elderly or for people who don’t have the means to do it themselves?

I think it would be easy for them to go around and check trees (and fire hydrants) in their districts and not be negligent in providing safety to the residents. These trucks are fully equipped with the lastest technology to respond to a fire quickly. And if they are out in their districts they may even be able to respond quicker.

I have always felt the biggest problem with municipal employees is that they are usually not required to multi-task unless they are a grunt in the hole for public works. Remember the termination of Debra Owen? She wore many hats, and for that she was a significant asset and value to the city. Heck, they had to replace her with 3 employees and a couple of committees.

Just a thought.