Lordsburg firefighters resign en masse amid pay dispute

LORDSBURG, N.M. (AP) - Firefighters in a southwestern New Mexico city have resigned en masse following a pay dispute with the officials.

The Las Cruces Sun-News reports the entire volunteer department of Lordsburg resigned last week amid a fight over how the city was paying the department.

The city said Wednesday that the firefighters were required to fill out W-4 forms to report stipends paid to them by the city. That’s a change from previous practice in which the chief would pay them and seek reimbursement from the city.

Lordsburg Finance Officer Martha Salas has said that previous practice did not conform with the law.

The City of Lordsburg announced Wednesday it had entered into a temporary mutual aid agreement with Hidalgo County following the resignation Tuesday night of the city’s entire volunteer department, including chief Riley Allen.

The city is accepting applications for a new fire chief, and on an interim basis, emergency fire and EMS services will be provided by Hidalgo County.