Stephen McInerny, assistant chief of operations at Aurora Fire Rescue, was fired after investigations found he was violating the department’s guidelines, according to the city.
McInerny, who had been with AFR since May 2018 when he stepped in as deputy boss, has been investigated for using a racist term about an applicant, his personal work schedule and hours, and alleged retaliation against subordinates who made complaints from documents released by the city.
In one case, an investigator found that McInerny used a racist tern to refer to an applicant of Indian origin in October 2019. McInerny denies the use of a racial fraud, according to the investigation report. The investigator came to the conclusion based on the testimony of a witness. McInerny is described in the investigation report as a “frequent user of profanity” who responded to the allegation of racial slur with “weak disapproval”.
“On August 22, 2020, the city received an anonymous complaint through its Ethical Advocate reporting system that set out multiple allegations against DC McInerny from five trips in 2019 and 2020,” the report said in a summary. An investigator found that McInerny “failed to properly account for three days when he was not working for AFR in 2020”.
According to one report, McInerny was responsible for treating all Fridays in 2020 as “flexible days” even though he was instructed to work alternately on Fridays throughout the year.
An investigator found it “more than likely” that McInerny had reassigned a firefighter and tried to disrupt a vacation request in August 2020, also because McInerny was “upset” by those who raised concerns about the training of HazMat members.
“While the investigation took several months to complete, the city acted immediately last year after learning of concerns,” the city said in a statement. “The reports identified a number of policy violations.”
McInerny’s last day at the fire department was Monday. He could not be reached for comment Friday.