There are some differences between the crisis Steve Abraira has been facing in recent weeks as Boston's fire chief and the one he faced eight years ago in Dallas. Here, he was popular with the rank-and-file, a familiar presence at even minor blazes, but he was politically maladroit. There, his problem wasn't with glad-handing key city officials but with his firefighters, who revolted after his response to the Boston Marathon bombings.
In both cases, though, the endpoint was the same: Abraira resigned under pressure.
He turned in his resignation letter in Boston today, brushing aside the suggestion that his response to the bombing had been inadequate. Instead, he blamed a letter signed by 13 of his 14 deputy chiefs and circulated to the press that blasted his leadership in the wake of the bombings and called for his job.
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"[T]he baseless attacks by the Deputy Chiefs, especially their actions of making this a matter of public debate by leaking their letter of April 26th to the press, has made it impossible for me to continue to do my job," he wrote, according to the Boston Globe.
And, it turns out, his exit in Boston may have more to do with politics than it initially appeared. Abraira, the Globe notes, was the first fire chief ever hired from outside the department's powerful union. His selection and subsequent efforts to modernize the department was opposed by a "vocal and aggressive minority" of firefighters, Abraira writes.
So it's still politics, just of a slightly different flavor. His last day is Friday.