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Fire chief resigns; PFC members accused of ethics violation | News

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Fire chief resigns; PFC members accused of ethics violation
Fire chief resigns; PFC members accused of ethics violation

A veteran of the fire department with more than three decades of service announced he’s resigning his present post as chief.

Randall Pickering said in an email to city officials Sunday night that he would leave the Fitchburg Fire Department effective Jan. 15, 2014.

Pickering said he was building a home in the town of Fulton, and his new address would make him ineligible to serve in the department.

However, a Wisconsin State Journal report said pressure was building for Pickering to resign after reports of a so-called slush fund were made public in July 2013.

In a signed statement from Mayor Shawn Pfaff dated Tuesday, he accused three Fitchburg Police & Fire Commission member of receiving shirts and jackets with the fire department’s logos from Pickering, which he claimed was a violation of the city’s code of ethics. The garments were allegedly purchased from the off-the-books fund.

In the statement -- which Pfaff signed "in his capacity as a resident taxpayer" -- Pfaff asked the City Council to hold a hearing to remove Shellander, Higginbotham and Marquardt from the city Police & Fire Commission.

In his resignation statement, Pickering said he was thankful for the friendships he made at FFD.

“I am blessed to have had the opportunity to lead a great group of people,” Pickering said in the statement.

Pickering said he served as part of Fitchburg Fire Department for 33 years.

RELATED: Report: Fire dept. had unauthorized slush fund

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