Fla. fire chief asked to resign over inappropriate emails


Published: Monday, January 7, 2008 at 8:04 p.m.
Last Modified: Monday, January 7, 2008 at 8:04 p.m.

UMATILLA, Fla. - The chief of a small central Florida volunteer fire department was asked to resign after he e-mailed pictures that showed the exposed breast of a 26-year-old car crash victim, officials said Monday.

Umatilla Fire Chief Richard Shirk told city officials he e-mailed images of crash and the woman, who later died, for training purposes. Shirk told officials he did not notice the woman was partially nude in at least one of the photos.

City Manager Glenn Irby said Shirk initially sent the e-mail to representatives of three nearby fire departments and it was forwarded to other people.

Shirk was hired in October as the city's first paid fire official, earning $55,000 a year to oversee volunteer firefighters.

Irby said Monday that Shirk was being offered three-months pay in exchange for his resignation. He said he expected Shirk to accept the terms.

"Any comment from us would be inappropriate," said Shirk's attorney, Michael H. Hatfield.

He was suspended in late November after a paramedic who responded to the crash received the e-mail from an acquaintance and complained.

Irby said that if the photos had been kept for in-house training purposes, Shirk would probably not have been fired.

Umatilla is located about 40 miles northwest of Orlando and has about 2,600 residents.

Reader comments posted to this article may be published in our print edition. All rights reserved. This copyrighted material may not be re-published without permission. Links are encouraged.

Comments are currently unavailable on this article

▲ Return to Top