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June 18, 2014

Live Oak Council president wants fire chief out

Chief cites retaliation by Prins for ethics claims

Live Oak —

Live Oak City Council President Adam Prins has called for the termination of Live Oak Fire Chief Chad Croft citing multiple violations of city policy and improper conduct by the chief that reportedly occurred in 2011 and 2012. Croft responded by saying this move is retaliation by Prins who is facing an ethics violation based on an incident involving Croft. 

Live Oak City Manager Kerry Waldron is reviewing the allegations by Prins and will reach a determination, he said.

“Your statements calling for termination of Chief Croft are of a serious nature. I have an obligation to the city of Live Oak to ensure that personnel matters are afforded due process and that an appropriate review is taken accordingly,” Waldron stated in a letter to Prins. 

On Thursday, June 5, Waldron sent Prins an email outlining his understanding of Prins’ alleged claims, and also requesting him to submit a written statement of the allegations.

Allegations from Prins range from Croft reportedly violating policy and procedure for failing to report an injury in a timely manner while on the job in 2011; failing to use good judgement to avoid injury; behaving in a non-courteous and respectful manner to others and reportedly lying under oath during ethics deposition concerning a policy that does not exist. 

“These allegations are a direct result of me reporting Mr. Prins to both the Florida Ethics Commission, of which probable cause was found,” Croft said. “And the reporting of Mr. Prins’ threatening statements of the city of Live Oak’s mayor, of which caused Sheriff (Tony) Cameron to investigate Mr. Prins’ actions and found Mr. Prins violated departmental policy by engaging in conduct unbecoming an officer of the Suwannee County Sheriff’s Office.”

He continued, “I have full confidence in our judicial system in that it will hold Mr. Prins accountable for his retaliatory actions and grant relief from his ‘character assassination’ of me.”

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