In the wake of the $2.7 Million discrimination settlement that was overturned this week, the Chief of the department has officially resigned. He’ll be staying on the job until the end of the year at which point he’ll be replaced by someone who will help change some aspects of what goes on inside the department. Mayor Villaraigosa said “whether that chief is white, black, a woman, gay, lesbian — whatever it is, we want a change agent, someone who will not tolerate discrimination.” Assistant Chief Doug Berry of the Fire Prevention Bureau and veteran Battalion Chief Millage Peaks were both mentioned by the LA Times as possible replacements to Bamattre.
UPDATE: Official announcement letter is after the jump, via the LAFD Blog.
December 1, 2006
This morning I submitted a letter to Mayor Villaraigosa informing him of my retirement. I will be stepping down as your Fire Chief on January 1, 2007. As firefighters we pledged, through a formal oath, to “faithfully serve” the City of Los Angeles in the discharge of our duties to the best of our knowledge and ability. I am very proud of our dedicated and courageous Los Angeles Firefighters. I am also very proud of the extraordinary commitment and efforts of our civilian employees. I want to express my heart felt appreciation and gratitude to each of you for your outstanding service to the visitors and residents of the City of Los Angeles.
Today, I ask you – as I asked you in November 1995 – for your support for the future of our Department. Throughout its history, the members of this Department have prevailed despite many challenges. Reaffirming our collective unity in commitment and purpose, the LAFD can transform adversity into opportunity.
It has been my privilege and honor to serve as your Fire Chief, working together with each of you to address the Public Safety needs of Los Angeles.
I pray that God will keep you and your loved ones safe.
WILLIAM R. BAMATTRE
Los Angeles Fire Department