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Formal Complaint Filed Against Waukesha Fire Chief [UPDATED]

City officials ask for resignation of Fire Chief Jesse Alba because of alleged undisclosed violations of city policies.

Jesse Alba
Jesse Alba

This was updated at 3:35 p.m. Wednesday with comments from Waukesha Fire Chief Jesse Alba's attorney.

A formal complaint was filed against Waukesha Fire Chief Jesse Alba on Tuesday with the Waukesha Police and Fire Commission after he declined requests to resign following an investigation into policy violations, City Administrator Ed Henschel said Wednesday.

City Administrator Ed Henschel declined to state the specific details of the complaint during an interview with Patch on Wednesday.

“We investigated some alleged violations of city policies,” Henschel said. “Based on that investigation, we had asked for his resignation.”

Alba has received a copy of the allegations against him, according to a statement from his attorney, Victor Plantinga.

"He was aware of the investigation that lead up to the filing of the Statement of Charges," Plantinga said in the prepared statement. "Mr. Alba provided truthful information to the investigator and city officials that discredited the witness statements that are being used against him. Regrettably, none of that information is reflected in the Investigation report or in the Statement of Charges.  Mr. Alba looks forward to a hearing where he can present this evidence to the commission."

Henschel said he asked for Alba’s resignation three times, the first being on July 3 and the last being Tuesday. The formal charges were filed against Alba on Tuesday.

The complaint could be released before or at the PFC’s preliminary hearing, Henschel said. The PFC has to wait at least 10 days to hold the hearing, but the hearing needs to be held within 30 days.

“According to the state statutes, our police and fire commission will determine the fate of Mr. Alba,” said Mayor Jeff Scrima. “We are extremely saddened regarding this situation.”

The investigation began in early June and is related to an issue from before Alba was named chief, according to Henschel.

“The investigation as done by an outside, independent person,” Henschel said. “It was not done internally.”

Waukesha Patch has filed an open records request seeking more information about the violations. Scrima has deferred the open records request to local attorney Stan Riffle.

Allegations surfaced after Alba was named fire chief, Patch's media partners at WISN 12 News is reported.

"How the chief was dealing with internal personnel over which he had supervisory responsibility," Henschel told WISN 12 News.

Alba was promoted to fire chief by the PFC on May 7 after being selected out of 49 applicants.

The Waukesha Fire Department was operating between March 2012 and May 2013 with an interim fire chief, Steve Howard, after the previous fire chief, Allen LaConte, retired after a long career with the fire department.

LaConte announced his retirement from the Waukesha Fire Department in November 2011 after working for the city for 34 years.

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Carl Spackler July 24, 2013 at 05:01 PM
Is any one surprised at this? Henschel and Scrima. Every time I watch channel 25 it is all I can do to stop myself from laughing until the realization comes to me that these people actually run our city. Sorry for my negative comments. I wish we could send Henschel and Scrima packing too.
Paul Furrer July 24, 2013 at 11:13 PM
I'm hoping this is some-kind-of misunderstanding.
Carl Spackler July 25, 2013 at 04:05 PM
First Paul thanks for your years of service! This has to be serious to have several people ask for his resignation. But hasn't he been with the department since the late eight's? Something was missed or there was not a truthful full disclosure of a serious violation. It will be interesting.

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