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Details emerge about fire official with Florida job

Answers are beginning to trickle out as to how a D.C. Deputy Fire Chief got to be simultaneously employed as head of a Florida fire department while remaining a city employee.

Allegations have been swirling that Kenneth Ellerbe secured the arrangement so he could reach age 50 before retiring in D.C. to receive pension benefits sooner.

This report, the latest posting from the blog STATter911.com, says a signed agreement with Sarasota County, Fla. is on file with the city's department of human resources regarding Ellerbe's employment. The blog cites sources saying it "has the signatures of Assistant Fire Chief Brian Lee and Director of Human Resources Brender Gregory."

Ellerbe, who has served the District since 1982, has been placed on leave without pay in Washington, and is now chief of the Sarasota County Fire Department.

But according to blogger Dave Statter of WUSA9.com, the deal was not reached without some friction within the local department.

"DC Fire & EMS Department sources indicate when the arrangement was first presented to Chief Dennis Rubin he refused to sign off on the deal," the blog states. "In June, when the department was questioned by STATter911.com about a possible deal to help Chief Ellerbe with his retirement, the word from a spokesman was that Chief Rubin said there would be absolutely no special arrangements."

-- Jonathan Mummolo

By Anne Bartlett  |  December 16, 2009; 5:38 PM ET
Categories:  Crime and Public Safety , D.C. Employees  
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