Wapato mayor fires police chief

WAPATO, Wash. (AP) — The mayor of the south-central Washington town of Wapato has fired the police chief.

The Yakima Herald-Republic reports that Chief Dominic Rizzi confirmed the dismissal, saying that Mayor Dora Alvarez-Roa called him to Wapato City Hall around 4 p.m. Friday, told him he had done a great job for the city, but it was his last day. Rizzi said Alvarez-Roa did not give him a reason for his termination.

Alvarez-Roa declined to comment about the situation before Wapato’s monthly Council meeting Wednesday. But when asked by an audience member why she had terminated Rizzi, she said he was not out in the community enough.

Councilman Keith Workman said he had seen Rizzi on active patrol in the city, a statement that met with shouts of approval from the audience.

The city hired Rizzi as a consultant for its police chief in November 2018, a month after he was fired without cause as chief of the Yakima Police Department by City Manager Cliff Moore.

In February, he was named Wapato’s public safety director, overseeing both the police and fire departments.