The City of Vancouver has drawn fire from safety experts after letting go of its chief electrician just weeks before the opening ceremony of the 2010 Olympic Games.

Ark Tsisserev was the chief electrical inspector and electrical safety manager for the city until his dismissal last month.

The city says his position was eliminated in a recent round of budget cuts, but Tsisserev's former colleagues say the decision just doesn't make sense.

"Why would they let him go before the Olympics?" said Bill Burr, former chief electrical inspector of B.C.

"The chief electrical safety officer has all kinds of things to do in a busy time like this. There's all kinds of temporary installations going up, tents and all those activities that have electrical power in them."

Dave Jackson worked with Tsissereve until his retirement in 2007, and said he is one of the best of his profession.

"I was totally surprised to hear Ark had been dismissed," Jackson said. "He's probably recognized as the number one expert in Canada on electrical codes."

Industry leaders have written to Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robertson demanding Tsisserev be reinstated -- but the mayor says his plate is already full.

"I'm not dealing with staffing issues," Robertson said. "I've been full-up with Olympic preparations."

Robertson added he is sure there are no safety issues with Olympic sites or venues.

The city says a senior building official will handle Tsisserev's responsibilities, and that electrical inspections will continue as normal.

With a report from CTV British Columbia's Lisa Rossington