Stephen McInerny was fired from his previous job as fire chief in Naples, Florida and finished second at Aurora Fire in 2018.
AURORA, Colorado – A senior fire chief in Aurora is under investigation. He is accused of bringing his daughter to fire and crime scenes, planning gender shifts, and sharing racially insensitive Facebook posts.
While an investigation has been going on for at least five months, two sources within Aurora Fire Rescue say his office was vacated on Feb.26 and his personal effects are no longer there.
A city spokesman for Aurora said in an email: “Until an internal administrative process is completed, the city cannot comment on its progress or speculate on an outcome.”
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Stephen McInerny is second in command with Aurora Fire Rescue (AFR) as deputy chief of operations. He got the job two years after being fired from his position as fire chief in Naples, Florida in 2016.
During his stay in Florida, NBC’s Fort Myers subsidiary reported that he had been accused of “setting buildings on fire” to convince the city council that his department needed more funding.
From the start of his tenure in Aurora, two city workers who refused to be identified for fear of retaliation told 9NEWS the troubles followed him.
Most recently, McInerny is accused of taking advantage of his position of power and taking his daughter to multiple fire scenes and sometimes to crime scenes.
One of the city employees, who did not want to be named, shared photos of the girl on fire scenes which they said McInerny posted on Facebook and later deleted.
AFR was also informed of McInerny’s allegations of racially insensitive posts. A post shared by McInerny described protesters as “wailing”.
The Colorado Black Professional Firefighters said in a statement that they were “disappointed but not surprised by Stephen McInerny’s Facebook post”. They went on to write: “Given the social climate of our nation and the recent incident with Elijah McClain in the city of Aurora, we consider it irresponsible for someone who holds a high position in an organization to hold such a post.”
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McInerny is also accused of making planning decisions based on gender.
“I noticed that the Human Resources Department in the Human Resources Office had red stickers and small red stickers on some people’s names. And I started looking at it and all the names were women, female firefighters at work, “said one retired firefighter who didn’t want her name to be used on this story.
She and several other of her colleagues said they learned from McInerny that the dots were placed there to “disperse” women during shifts. Firefighters said the dots were removed in spring 2019 but believed the department never addressed the underlying issue.
“There are a lot of people who do not believe that women belong in the fire service and I still know to this day that even though there are more women in the fire service, we are still being examined, we are still being watched, we are still under the microscope taken, “said the retired Aurora firefighter.” But I no longer thought that we would disperse people based on their gender, race or the like, I thought we had gone beyond that. “
An AFR spokesman said a third party was investigating the allegations.
After his release, McInerny sued the city of Naples, Florida, and its Firefighter’s Union in 2017. He claimed they had provided false information that led to his release.
9NEWS attempted to contact McInerny by phone and knocked on his door on the evening of September 28th to read a story and then emailed on February 28th for the story. After an email was sent directly to McInerny, AFR only asked that the information officer was contacted. McInerny never replied.
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