The Fire District Board accepted Chief Buddy Emerson’s retirement request Wednesday amid allegations from the firefighters union that he endangered employees' lives during Hurricane Irma and acted recklessly as chief.
Emerson had submitted his retirement effective at the end of February, but the board, at a special meeting, unanimously accepted it effective immediately. He will receive severance pay through Feb. 28. Emerson's annual salary was $137,500.
By a 5-2 vote, the Fire Board named District Chief Nate Spera interim chief. In a 6-1 vote, it agreed to hire recruiting firm Colin Baenziger & Associates to search for a new chief.