Florida Chief Disciplined for Hostile Workplace

The fire chief of Ponce Inlet, Florida is being disciplined by the town manager for creating a hostile work environment following an investigation by the town’s police internal affairs unit.

Fire Chief Dan Scales is facing a 120-hour suspension without pay, a 6% pay cut, and being placed on probation for one-year. Ponce Inlet Town Manager Jeaneen Witt ordered discipline last Friday. Chief Scales will also be required to obtain the police chief’s approval on all personnel matters and complete 40 hours of management training.

Firefighters accused Chief Scales of threatening/intimidating employees, using profanity, making inappropriate comments to employees, and retaliating against those who complained.

Here is a copy of the disciplinary notice and the investigative report: PONCE_INLET_CHIEF_DISCIPLINE_7553324_ver1.0


About Curt Varone

Curt Varone has over 40 years of fire service experience and 30 as a practicing attorney licensed in both Rhode Island and Maine. His background includes 29 years as a career firefighter in Providence (retiring as a Deputy Assistant Chief), as well as volunteer and paid on call experience. He is the author of two books: Legal Considerations for Fire and Emergency Services, (2006, 2nd ed. 2011, 3rd ed. 2014) and Fire Officer's Legal Handbook (2007), and is a contributing editor for Firehouse Magazine writing the Fire Law column.

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