Fitchburg fire chief resigns - WKOW 27: Madison, WI Breaking News, Weather and Sports

Fitchburg fire chief resigns

MADISON (WKOW) -- Fitchburg Fire Chief Randall Pickering has resigned from his chief's position, several months after Pickering's use of a slush fund to supply the fire department was uncovered, and denounced by city officials.

In his Dec. 15 letter, Pickering says he's building a new home outside of Fitchburg, and would no longer be eligible to be fire chief, because of residency rules.

But Fitchburg Mayor Shawn Pfaff tells 27 News Pickering's resignation was..."the right thing for the city," with Pfaff saying he planned to ask Pickering to step down over the previous existence of the slush fund.

Pickering and city officials have said the slush fund involved the use of $25,000 over a decade, where under Pickering's direction, a Middleton company sold Fitchburg's surplus fire equipment to other departments, and used fund money to make purchases, skirting normal city procedures.

City officials say fund money was also used to purchase jackets for members of the Fitchburg Police and Fire Commission. One commissioner resigned after the source of the funds to purchase her jacket was revealed, and Pfaff is calling for the resignation of two other members.

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