Boston fire chief quits

Boston Fire Chief Steve Abraira has resigned.
Boston Fire Chief Steve Abraira has resigned.

BOSTON — Boston Fire Chief Steve Abraira resigned yesterday following growing criticism of how he handled April’s Boston Marathon bombings.

In a letter to Mayor Thomas Menino and Fire Commissioner Roderick Fraser, Abraira cited a “vocal and aggressive minority” for consistently resisting his efforts to reform the department since he was appointed – as the first Latino chief – in 2011.

But it was a different letter that sealed Abraira’s fate:

On April 26, numerous deputies wrote to Menino and complained that the chief gave up control of the investigation s to federal authorities. In part, this memo read:

“At a time when the City of Boston needed every first responder to take decisive action, Chief Abraira failed to get involved in operational decision-making or show any leadership.”

Abraira was later referred to as a “ghost fire chief” at a City Council meeting.

The first chief hired outside the union, Abraira wrote that said Fraser’ “selection of me as chief never had the support of a number of members of the department who preferred that the chief be selected from within the ranks of the department itself.”

A spokesperson for the fire department responded to Abraira’s resignation with a simple statement: “We thank the chief for his service to the people of Boston.” (Reuters)

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