Former Costa Mesa fire chiefs to take over interim Newport position

With the interim chief already at the helm longer than he expected, and discussions with the leading permanent candidate having collapsed, Newport Beach city officials are turning to a familiar face to lead the Fire Department.

Mike Morgan, who retired as Costa Mesa Fire Department chief on Oct. 2, will act as Newport Beach's interim chief for the next six months while City Manager Dave Kiff renews his recruitment effort to find a permanent replacement.

"Unfortunately, during the last stage of selection and confidential negotiations, the final candidate and the city were not able to reach a consensus on an employment agreement," the city announced in a news release.

Morgan will be paid $99,508 for his tenure. He was preceded by Steve Parker, who acted as the interim chief for eight moths, at a cost of $132,672.

Parker wanted to return to retirement, officials said.

"Unfortunately, Chief Parker really meant it when he agreed to work on a temporary basis, and he and his family want to get back to enjoying his retirement," Kiff wrote.

Parker was filling in after Chief Steve Lewis retired in March, after serving since 2006.

Morgan led Costa Mesa's fire department for three years, and before that worked for more than 20 years with the Los Angeles Fire Department.

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