Former Alabama Fire Chief Charged

The former fire chief in Trussville, Alabama has been arrested and charged with two counts of first degree auto theft and sale, and three counts of ethics violations. Chief Russell Ledbetter was reportedly arrested, processed and released on bond yesterday.

As Trussville’s Fire Chief, Ledbetter oversaw Trussville’s independent volunteer fire department. In September of 2016, the city placed him on administrative leave while asking  the Alabama Ethics Commission to investigate fire department spending.

In September, 2017, Trussville Mayor Buddy Choat announced that the investigation had been turned over to the Alabama Bureau of Investigation, and that the city had taken over the volunteer department. Here is news coverage of that press conference:

 

Chief Ledbetter opted to retire in February, 2017. More on the story.

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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