New Britain fire chief retires after racial insensitivity probe


NEW BRITAIN, Conn. (AP) — A New Britain fire chief will retire after being placed on paid leave following an investigation that faulted him for racial insensitivity.

New Britain Mayor Erin Stewart, a Republican, said Tuesday that she has accepted Thomas Ronalter‘s offer to retire. He will stay on until Oct. 2 but the department will continue to be run by Deputy Chief Peter Margentino.

Related: Fire chief placed on leave amid racial insensitivity probe

Ronalter was placed on leave last month following a report from the city that said his insensitivity worsened perceptions of racism. The investigation was prompted by his refusal to hang a photograph of the department’s first black chief on a wall of honor. Ronalter initially said he wouldn’t resign and questioned many of the findings.

In a statement, Ronalter said it was an honor to serve the city for 35 years.

Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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