Yemassee fire chief fired by mayor - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

Yemassee fire chief fired by mayor

Alfred Washington reads his termination letter for the first time. Alfred Washington reads his termination letter for the first time.
YEMASSEE, SC (WTOC) -

The mayor of Yemassee has fired the town's fire chief, Alfred Washington.

Only problem is, Washington didn't know about it until WTOC showed him the termination letter.

"Wow, how in the world did y'all get a letter faster than I got one?" said Washington.

 Washington said he's served 33 years with the Yemassee Fire Dept and in his eyes, he still believes he is the town's fire chief.

The letter was drafted by Mayor Jerry Cook.

While running background checks on the town's employees last week, Cook found out that Washington had a suspended driver's license dating back to 2008.

"That being said, I asked him to take a week off to get these problems corrected and once he got that done to be here on Monday morning but he never showed up so I assumed he just quit," said Cook.

Washington has served as Yemassee's fire chief for the last three years and offered his version of what happened.

"In 1989, a person had my car and had an accident and didn't turn in the green copy, so I found out my license was suspended in 2008," said Washington.

Washington says he thought he took care of it back then but had no idea until Cook asked about it.

Washington argued that it's not up to the town to decide. 

"Nobody from the town council or the mayor can terminate anyone from the fire department," he said.  

"As of this moment, Alfred Washington is still the fire chief, it's a voted position and there's not being given any reason for this termination," said Assistant Fire Chief Eric Smith.

Cook says Washington has done a good job for the town but he says he must be fair. 

"We hate to lose him, especially in situations like this, but he is the one that made that decision," said Cook.  

Washington is also an employee of the town's streets and sanitation department.

Cook says his services are no longer needed in that job either.

Copyright 2014 WTOC. All rights reserved.

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