The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
The chief of the Douglas County Fire Department, who has been on administrative leave for two months, will be officially fired May 1, county officials announced Tuesday.
Officials sent Roderick Jolivette a letter last month notifying him of his termination, acting county spokesperson Bill Crane confirmed Wednesday. Jolivette was placed on leave in February as county leaders investigated the employment of one of the department’s firefighters.
“Chief Jolivette’s leadership and contributions to the department are recognized and appreciated, but the county has decided to move in a different direction,” acting County Administrator David Corbin said in a statement Tuesday. “Deputy fire Chief Miles Allen will continue to serve as interim fire chief until further notice.”
Investigators had looked into the circumstances surrounding the employment of Daymetrie Williams, who was allegedly facing charges out of Alabama when he was hired as a firefighter in May 2021, according to an outside counsel investigation. Williams was arrested on a theft charge in 2019 and also had been convicted of misdemeanors twice in the state that year, officials stated.
In January, a court order was issued in Madison County, Alabama, which required the county sheriff to secure an arrest warrant for Williams. A few days later, Jolivette was tasked by Douglas County Commissioner Mark Alcarez with investigating the warrant and Williams’ criminal history.
Jolivette allegedly failed to take timely steps to confirm the warrant and information about Williams’ background, officials said. The chief did ask an investigator to look into the firefighter, but he allegedly provided a separate report to Corbin that left out details related to Williams’ disciplinary record.
According to investigators, Williams’ personnel file was removed from its proper location and discovered in a locked file cabinet where only the chief and his assistant had access. Jolivette also never mentioned that Williams did not accurately report his criminal record, officials said.
County officials said they investigated the management of the fire department, along with its hiring and screening processes, and found “deficiencies that are not consistent with the strategic goals of the county.”
Jolivette, who has more than three decades of firefighting experience, was terminated for failure to comply with Douglas County policy, follow orders and adequately complete work assignments, Corbin stated.
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