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Sept. 21, 2016
SAN ANTONIO, TX - A Wisconsin Fire Chief is objecting Wednesday after hearing a letter he wrote to the San Antonio Fire Chief regarding the termination of his son and five other cadets is now being used to justify those actions.
In Aug. 2016, six San Antonio Fire Academy cadets from the 2016 Bravo class were terminated on accusations they had drank in uniform while on duty at a Twin Peaks restaurant in San Antonio. It was later discovered the cadets were not in uniform and not on duty, but San Antonio Fire Chief Charles Hood still terminated the cadets.
One of the fired cadets is the son of Chief James Angelo, of the Redgranite Area Fire District in Wisconsin. Chief Angelo personally appealed to Chief Hood and also wrote him a letter. Originally, Chief Angelo believed, based on the conversation he had with Chief Hood, that the cadets had been in uniform and were on duty.
“I was originally expressing my thoughts because of [the] conversation Chief Hood and I had concerning his explanation of the cadets’ [situation],” said Chief Angelo. “After trying to find more facts and a different view of this whole mess I came to a very different conclusion.”
Chief Angelo believes Chief Hood misled him, knowingly or unknowingly, on the facts regarding the day the cadets went to the restaurant.
“My thoughts now as a Fire Chief is that these cadets were falsely accused of wrongdoings based on very unsubstantiated claims,” said Chief Angelo. “I do believe beyond a reasonable doubt that these accusations are totally false and hold no merit against these cadets.”
In the weeks following the cadets’ termination, the reasons as to why the San Antonio Fire Department administration fired the cadets in the first place have changed several times. After it was determined the cadets were not in uniform and not on duty, Chief Charles Hood later implied in a news conference on Aug. 25 the event at the restaurant was more than just a “burger and a beer,” but would not elaborate into the investigation. In a Sept. 13 memo sent to City of San Antonio employees, Chief Hood stated the cadets had misled their instructor into letting them leave early for the day. The cadets later stated the instructor had allowed them to leave early for the day and had also allowed them to leave early the day prior.
“I feel that Chief Hood made some very bad decisions on this through the information he was given,” said Chief Angelo. “I would not want to be in the corner that he is painting himself into. If I was in his place I would be going after whoever started this witch hunt to begin with.”
Chief Angelo has learned Chief Hood is using the letter he wrote him to justify his actions against the cadets. He feels that it is important to know that the letter Chief Hood is continuing to use was written based on false information provided to him by Chief Hood.
“I am steadfast against Chief Hood using my initial email to justify his decision concerning the cadets,” said Chief Angelo.
Call the San Antonio Fire Department at 210-207-8400 if you believe San Antonio Fire Chief Hood should reopen the investigation into the cadets’ firing. You can click or tap the button below to sign a letter asking Chief Hood to reopen the investigation.
Click to urge Chief Hood to reopen investigation