Black fire chief snubbed on department’s wall of honor


NEW BRITAIN, Conn. (AP) — An investigation prompted by a fire chief’s refusal to hang a photograph of the department’s first black chief on a wall of honor has faulted him for racial insensitivity and concluded that minority firefighters have reason to perceive racial bias in the department.

The city of New Britain commissioned the investigation in May after receiving a complaint from an African-American firefighter who was disciplined for removing the portraits of five other white former chiefs that hung in a hallway at the department headquarters.

The report said the controversy suggests “serious level of racial insensitivity by the chief.”

The fire chief, Thomas Ronalter, did not respond to a message seeking comment.

Mayor Erin Stewart says she plans to review the report’s findings to identify areas for improvements.