The Fire Commission huddled behind closed doors for several hours Saturday -- the second two-hour private session in four days -- on an unspecified "personnel" issue, but this time one of the officers believed to be the subject of the meetings, Chief Richard Felner, was in attendance.

Once again, officials at the unusual Saturday morning meeting refused to comment on the proceedings, as they had at a similar special session Wednesday night.

Unconfirmed reports indicate, however, the meetings have been called to discuss the report of a physical altercation between Felner and one of his assistant chiefs, George Gomola.

Felner, who earlier this week dismissed the rumors of a confrontation with Gomola, declined to comment when Saturday's nearly two-hour-long meeting ended. Gomola did not attend.

No public votes were taken by the commission after members emerged from the executive session.

The fire chief has been on vacation for almost three weeks. Asked previously by the Fairfield Citizen when he would be returning to duty, Felner said he did not know. He had said that he has vacation time that he needs to use before the time expires.

Under his contract, which expires in July 2014, Felner has 28 vacations days each year, and can carry over 10 days each year.

Felner joined the Fire Department in 1957, and has been chief since 1998.

Gomola, in addition to his job as an assistant fire chief, also is the owner of Ash Creek Fitness on Fairfield Avenue in Bridgeport.

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