Dallas Deputy Fire Chief at Heart of Stanley Wilson Death Investigation Quits
Bobby Ross' more than 30 years with the Dallas Fire Department will end on Tuesday. The deputy chief elected to take retirement following the release of a memo accuse him of lying about orders he gave while fighting a six-alarm blaze in May 2013. Ross said that he didn't order Stanley Wilson and his fellow firefighters to enter the fire and search for a survivors. Section Chief George Tomasovic said that he did, leading to Wilson's death, and called for an internal affairs investigation.
Dallas Fire Chief Chief Louie Bright III removed Ross from commanding decisions at the scene of fires after Wilson's death but declined to punish him further. A "high-ranking official" at the fire department told The Dallas Morning News that Ross had been reassigned to desk duty.
Newport News, Virginia, which was considering making Ross its next fire chief, dropped him from the shortlist.
Retired Lieutenant James Hunter, a former head of the Dallas Black Fire Fighters Association, accused the department of scapegoating Ross in a November interview with the News.
"I heard from someone else that if it wouldn't have been Chief Ross, and would have been another person from a different nationality, we wouldn't be having this conversation," he said. "That shows you right there it's race-based."
The department said it hopes Ross has a happy retirement.
"Dallas Fire-Rescue Department Deputy Fire Chief Bobby Ross is scheduled to retire on January 13, 2015. Chief Ross is retiring with over 30 years of service to the city of Dallas, we wish him well in his retirement and future endeavors," spokesman Joel Lavender said in a statement.
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