Ocala Fire Chief Alexander terminated

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Posted June 26, 2021 | By Carlos Medina

Shane Alexander talks to the Ocala City Council in this December file photo. Alexander was terminated from his post as chief of Ocala Fire Rescue on Friday. [Bruce Ackerman/Ocala Gazette]

Shane Alexander, chief of Ocala Fire Rescue, was terminated Friday by City Manager Sandra Wilson.

The circumstances behind the termination were not immediately available on Saturday, but the move was confirmed by several city officials.

On Saturday, Wilson said she accepted the recommendation to terminate Alexander from Assistant City Manager Ken Whitehead. She said a copy of Alexander’s termination letter would be available on Monday.

“I knew that there were some unresolved issues, but I’ll leave that to the city manager to discuss,” said Ocala City Councilman Jay Musleh.

Musleh said the council does not intercede on city personnel issues.

“The only three employees that work for the city council are the city manager, the city auditor and the city clerk,” he said. “I obviously feel for Shane, but I fully support Sandra and our charter, which puts the staff of the city, with the exception of the police department, underneath her.”

Mayor Kent Guinn said he heard about the move from Wilson at 4 p.m. on Friday.

He also declined to discuss the circumstances, deferring to the city administration.

“I think he was doing a good job. I think Shane did a good job of unifying the city fire with the county fire. I think he was doing a good job here, so it’s got to be something other than the job he was doing. That’s all I can say.” Guinn said.

When contacted on Saturday, Alexander also did not want to discuss the details about his termination.

“I’ve been a serving my whole life, and I want to continue to serve in our community. I also want to send well wishes to Ocala Fire Rescue and the men and women I worked with there for 27 years,” he said.

Alexander took over the fire chief role of OFR in October 2018. He joined the department as a firefighter paramedic in 1994.

In February 2020, Alexander was one of three finalists selected for city manager after then-City Manager John Zobler stepped down unexpectedly. Wilson eventually was selected to take the position.

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