Leader

Collapse

Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

Mulberry Fla--Fire Chief Resigns Amid Scandal

Collapse
X
 
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Mulberry Fla--Fire Chief Resigns Amid Scandal

    Mulberry Fire Chief Carmack Resigns

    By Tom Palmer
    The Ledger
    [email protected]

    MULBERRY -- Fire Chief Mitch Carmack resigned Wednesday rather than face discipline over allegations that he was spending time at the home of a city commissioner while on duty.

    City Manager Patricia Jackson said Carmack handed her his resignation during a meeting in her office Wednesday afternoon regarding his case.

    Later in the meeting, he withdrew the resignation letter that would have been effective Friday and said he planned to hand in another resignation letter today with an effective date of Aug. 1, Jackson said.

    Carmack, 39, could not be reached for comment Wednesday evening.

    Jackson said Wednesday's meeting came following the conclusion of an investigation by former Acting Police Chief Marvin Pittman into allegations by a citizen that Carmack was spending a lot of time while he was on duty at the residence of City Commissioner Julian Mullis and his wife, Felicia.

    Pittman, Jackson and Commissioner Mullis met at City Hall Monday night to discuss the report, Jackson said.

    Details of the report will not be released until Carmack's resignation becomes official, Jackson said.

    Jackson said she was not planning to fire Carmack, but only to suspend him for an unspecified period.

    Now she said her next step will be to advertise for a new fire chief.

    Carmack was hired in 1989 as Mulberry's first full-time fire chief after having headed the city's volunteer Fire Department part time since 1984.

    For a time, he served as the city's code enforcement officer as well.

    He was involved in the current effort to expand the city's firefighting staff and to relocate and expand the city's fire station, using proceeds from a fire tax the City Commission approved in 2001.

    Tom Palmer can be reached at [email protected] or 863-802-7535
    09-11 .. 343 "All Gave Some..Some Gave ALL" God Bless..R.I.P.
    ------------------------------
    IACOJ Minister of Southern Comfort
    "Purple Hydrant" Recipient (3 Times)
    BMI Investigator
    ------------------------------
    The comments, opinions, and positions expressed here are mine. They are expressed respectfully, in the spirit of safety and progress. They do not reflect the opinions or positions of my employer or my department.

  • #2
    Scandal Continues--BUT>>Chief Changes Mind--Rescinds Resignation

    The Ledger

    Mulberry To Clarify Policy on Helping
    City manager will formalize rules on how workers handle residents' requests.

    By Tom Palmer
    The Ledger
    [email protected]

    MULBERRY -- The complaint that led to Fire Chief Mitch Carmack's recent suspension involved a long-standing unwritten city policy to help residents when they asked.

    City Manager Patricia Jackson said Monday she is drafting a written policy she hopes will prevent the practice from getting out of control.

    "How we respond will be handled differently in the future," she said.

    That policy, which Jackson said she plans to draft carefully to prevent any misunderstandings, is probably overdue, she said.

    "Until this came up, I didn't realize how many calls we were getting," Jackson said.

    Although the Carmack case involved a trip to a city commissioner's home, Jackson said the informal policy had been to help any resident to do anything from getting a cat out of a tree to helping people who had locked themselves out of their car.

    The policy predates her administration, she said.

    Carmack was suspended after an investigation uncovered allegations that he repeatedly visited City Commissioner Julian Mullis' home while on duty, that he engaged in consensual sex once with the commissioner's wife, Felicia Mullis, and that he made additional sexual advances to her.

    The initial visit involved a request to assist Mrs. Mullis, who had locked herself out of her house.

    Carmack denied the charges and initially resigned, but rescinded his resignation and accepted a two-week suspension and loss of two weeks of vacation time.

    Part of Carmack's response to the allegations referred to the existing policy.

    He said it was his understanding that helping residents was something city employees had been told was part of their jobs.

    Jackson said the new policy will not tell city employees not to help residents, but it will set up a system to make sure it isn't excessive and it doesn't interfere with other work.

    "Whenever we have someone in a city vehicle, they will check in and out through the dispatcher," Jackson said.

    That way there will be a record of where the employees were and how long they were there, she said.

    Jackson said she hopes to have the new policy completed in two weeks.

    Tom Palmer can be reached at [email protected] or 863-802-7535.
    09-11 .. 343 "All Gave Some..Some Gave ALL" God Bless..R.I.P.
    ------------------------------
    IACOJ Minister of Southern Comfort
    "Purple Hydrant" Recipient (3 Times)
    BMI Investigator
    ------------------------------
    The comments, opinions, and positions expressed here are mine. They are expressed respectfully, in the spirit of safety and progress. They do not reflect the opinions or positions of my employer or my department.

    Comment


    • #3
      now thats a full "service" town !
      IACOJ both divisions and PROUD OF IT !
      Pardon me sir.. .....but I believe we are all over here !
      ATTENTION ALL SHOPPERS: Will the dead horse please report to the forums.(thanks Motown)
      RAY WAS HERE 08/28/05
      LETHA' FOREVA' ! 010607
      I'm sorry, I haven't been paying much attention for the last 3 hours.....what were we discussing?
      "but I guarentee you I will FF your arse off" from>
      http://www.firehouse.com/forums/show...60#post1137060post 115

      Comment


      • #4
        And if he was injured while "helping"???

        disability or workers comp for 'helping', "You twisted your back, HOW!!!!!!
        How in the heck would explain that to your insurance carrier..
        LMAO!!!!!!
        (should now be CharlieRFD,past,Pres.), but I've had this screen name for so long, I'm keeping it..., besides I'm Deputy Chief now.
        BE SAFE OUT THERE
        NEVER FORGET
        GOD BLESS THE 343 AND 60, MAY GOD GRANT HIS PEACE TO THEIR LOVED ONES.
        IACOJ
        F.O.O.P.

        Comment


        • #5
          Or better yet, how do you explain a sprain to your ankle while in bed with the commissioners wife?
          D. Hager
          Paramedic

          Comment


          • #6
            Lakeland Ledger

            Residents Critical of Chief
            Mulberry fire chief should be fired, some say to commissioners.

            By Tom Palmer
            The Ledger
            [email protected]

            MULBERRY -- Suspended Fire Chief Mitch Carmack should have been fired, a handful of residents told the City Commission on Tuesday night.

            The comments came during a period at the beginning of the meeting in which the public is given the floor to make statements or to ask questions.

            Carmack, the city's first full-time fire chief, was recently suspended for two weeks and lost two weeks of vacation in connection with allegations involving visits to the home of City Commissioner Julian Mullis to provide requested assistance.

            City Manager Patricia Jackson announced this week she is preparing a policy to cover how city employees will handle citizen requests in the future to prevent any misunderstandings or problems.

            "What happened was theft (of government time)," said Debbie Mullis, the distant relative of the Mullises who filed the complaint about Carmack's presence at Commissioner Mullis' home.

            She said Carmack's punishment was too lenient.

            "Everybody I talked to said they don't think the fire chief should return to work," she said. An investigation of complaints about his presence led to allegations of sexual misconduct, including consensual sex with Felicia Mullis, Commissioner Mullis' wife.

            Carmack has denied the allegations and said they were in retribution for comments he made referring to Debbie Mullis' son at a commission meeting about an arson case at the Mulberry Skate Park.

            David Van Brummelen, another skate park booster, also attacked Carmack.

            "All I've heard for months is what a good job he does, but he has a $40,000-a-year salary and a personal vehicle he can drive anywhere he wants," he said. "Mitch lied; if he did nothing more than that, he should be fired for lying."

            The investigation into the allegations against Carmack did not conclude who was telling the truth, only that he "did not act appropriately and professionally at all times."

            Florence Splaine, the wife of City Commissioner Jim Splaine, a frequent City Hall critic, said she, too, thought Carmack should be fired.

            "It (his behavior) doesn't set a good example to the younger generation," she said.

            Carmack declined afterwards to respond to the citizens' statements.
            09-11 .. 343 "All Gave Some..Some Gave ALL" God Bless..R.I.P.
            ------------------------------
            IACOJ Minister of Southern Comfort
            "Purple Hydrant" Recipient (3 Times)
            BMI Investigator
            ------------------------------
            The comments, opinions, and positions expressed here are mine. They are expressed respectfully, in the spirit of safety and progress. They do not reflect the opinions or positions of my employer or my department.

            Comment


            • #7
              Ok...now I quit!

              Suspended Fire Chief Decides to Quit

              By Tom Palmer
              The Ledger
              [email protected]

              MULBERRY -- Mulberry Fire Chief Mitch Carmack is leaving after all.

              Carmack, the city's first full-time fire chief, turned in his resignation Monday. It is effective Aug. 25.

              In a brief resignation letter, Carmack said he was leaving for "personal reasons" and referred to recent "changes in my life."

              Carmack recently separated from his wife, Elaine.

              "I have put forth every effort to serve and protect the citizens who live inside and outside the city in our fire coverage," he said.

              Carmack could not be reached for further comment.

              City Manager Patricia Jackson said she regretted Carmack's decision to quit.

              "Mitch has helped the whole city; it's a shame it has come down to this," she said.

              Last month, the wife of a city commissioner said she had consensual sex with Carmack, which led to an investigation by city officials. Carmack resigned after the investigation, but rescinded that resignation and accepted a suspension.

              Jackson said Carmack's new decision to resign occurred after he returned to work last week and was followed by residents, who were apparently looking for evidence to use against him, which he considered harassment.

              "He told me he couldn't work under those conditions," Jackson said.

              Carmack, who began working for the city as a part-time firefighter in 1984, had been the fire chief since 1989.

              Jackson, who was attending a Florida League of Cities convention at Lake Buena Vista this week, said she will begin placing advertisements for a replacement Monday.

              Carmack, 39, has been the focus of controversy in this small town south of Lakeland ever since an investigation was launched earlier this year over allegations that he was spending a lot of time at the home of City Commissioner Julian Mullis.

              Debbie Mullis, a distant relative of the commissioner, made the initial allegation because she felt Carmack was "stealing from the city" because he was not working.

              However, Carmack, who was paid $40,000 a year, is a salaried employee, not an hourly employee. That means he can be called to duty any time of the day or night and typically works more than 40 hours a week, but does not receive overtime pay.

              Carmack said he was at the Mullis home at the request of Commissioner Mullis, whose work takes him out of town during the day, to help with a variety of task, including fixing a flat tire and helping Mullis' wife, Felicia, after she locked herself out of the house, and checking on the possible location for a radio tower.

              That was consistent with an unwritten city policy in force at the time to offer help to citizens.

              Following the outcome of the investigation, Jackson announced she was drafting a city policy to cover assistance to the public so that there was some kind of accountability for the purposes and the amount of time involved in responding to requests for help.

              Debbie Mullis' allegation led to an investigation conducted by Acting Police Chief Marvin Pittman that also examined allegations that Carmack had a sexual relationship with Commissioner Mullis' wife, Felicia.

              Carmack denied the charges, saying they were politically motivated.

              Carmack had originally resigned July 23 rather than face discipline for things he said he didn't do.

              However, he changed his mind the following day and accepted two weeks' suspension and the loss of two weeks of vacation, and agreed to attend training dealing with ethics and sexual harassment and to refrain from "any flirtatious or suggestive conduct while working, in uniform or on city business."

              But Debbie Mullis and other residents said they thought Carmack should have been fired and attacked Jackson's decision to suspend Carmack at a recent City Commission meeting.

              Tom Palmer can be reached at [email protected] or 863-802-7535.
              09-11 .. 343 "All Gave Some..Some Gave ALL" God Bless..R.I.P.
              ------------------------------
              IACOJ Minister of Southern Comfort
              "Purple Hydrant" Recipient (3 Times)
              BMI Investigator
              ------------------------------
              The comments, opinions, and positions expressed here are mine. They are expressed respectfully, in the spirit of safety and progress. They do not reflect the opinions or positions of my employer or my department.

              Comment

              300x600 Ad Unit (In-View)

              Collapse

              Upper 300x250

              Collapse

              Taboola

              Collapse

              Leader

              Collapse
              Working...
              X