COPPERAS COVE — Fire Chief Sean Hughes resigned from his post as the city’s fire department leader earlier this week, leaving the city to search for another new department head almost six months after his hire.
City Manager Andrea Gardner said, “He turned in a letter to me, and all he said in the letter is that it was for personal reasons. I don’t inquire with staff when they say it is for personal reasons ... and he did not elaborate.”
Hughes was hired April 9, after Fire Chief Mike Baker retired from the position in February. Hughes previously had served as the North Richland Hills Fire Department’s public information officer and emergency management coordinator before coming to Copperas Cove. He had 28 years of emergency responder experience and had a $95,000 contract with the city.
“When you hire someone and they don’t last any longer than that, it is always a surprise. That is just one of those things, I guess,” said Mayor John Hull, who admitted he didn’t get to know Hughes too well.
Hughes seemed to have been doing fine inside the department’s operations, said Hull, but as mayor he didn’t make it a priority to constantly check up on the fire department’s happenings.
At the time of giving his resignation, Hughes was working at reorganizing fire department personnel.
Gardner said the two had shared presentations and were working through the process, but the changes had yet to occur. Gardner said she will work on implementing some changes before a new fire chief is hired.
“We should see (those changes) roll out before a new chief is here,” she said.
While the city will post the position sometime within the next week, Gardner didn’t know how long it would take to hire a new fire chief.