Augusta fire chief allegations spark legal talk among commissioners

Published: Sep. 15, 2020 at 9:22 PM EDT
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AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) - Augusta Fire Chief Chris James responds to recent allegations about discrimination and malpractice. The ongoing concerns within the department led to a long legal meeting for commissioners today.

Last week, the former Augusta Fire-EMS chief resigned in a public letter. He claimed discrimination, lack of ambulance staff training, and malpractice within the department.

Meanwhile, Chief Chris James responded in a letter sent to Commissioners Monday, where he denied all allegations saying they’re “unfounded” and “the representations are false.”

As leaders got ready to talk all these issues in a legal session, some firefighters had a meeting of their own in a silent protest outside the municipal building on staffing, training, and morale.

“It’s not just a bunch of us being disgruntled. It’s an issue of us being... Not heard, people are continuing to leave and those are the reasons why,” Phillip Brigham of the Augusta Firefighters Association said.

An outside investigation into department complaints is still ongoing. Commissioners will decide on any changes once that investigation is complete.

Copyright 2020 WRDW/WAGT. All rights reserved.

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