The budgeting tug-of-war between Mayor Jean Stothert and fire chief Mike McDonnell ends with McDonnell taking early retirement in exchange for a delay in manpower cuts.

The mayor told Newsradio 1110 KFAB's Good Morning Show that the concessions were to head off a legal marathon. "Other actions that occured that possibly could have ended up in court, that I didn't want to drag the city through," said the mayor. "So, I wanted to negotiate something so that I could be able to appoint a new chief."

The mayor agreed to retain three assistant fire chief through the end of 2014 and not to lay off firefighters until at least July 1, 2014.

McDonnell will be placed on paid administrative leave Tuesday and allowed to retire with credit for 25 years employment. That's a little more than a year more than his actual service.

Battalion Chief Bernard Kanger will serve as interim chief.