Fire chief’s leaked emails about women lead to early departure

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Scheduled to retire January 2, the Casper (WY) Fire-EMS chief has left the department more than a month early. This follows weeks of controversy after his work emails were leaked to members of the department and the city manager.

According to Elise Schmelzer of the Casper Star Tribune, there were emails from Chief Kenneth King that included suggestive messages sent to a number of women. Other emails sent to department employees had sexual comments about women’s appearances.

Chief King had been involved in a previous email controversy when the newspaper uncovered a message sent to a fire inspector asking him to edit out “bad parts” of video evidence related to a controversial fire at a landfill. That fire resulted in a 10,000 acre wildfire that killed livestock and pets.

Elise Schmelzer, Casper Star Tribune:

King spoke briefly with the Star-Tribune on Thursday, but ended the interview when the subject of emails was broached. He later sent a text message in response to a voicemail that detailed the specific emails addressed in this article.

“My only comment is that I’m sorry if any of my emails have made anyone feel uncomfortable,” he wrote.

King sent an email in April 2015 to the entire department that included a link to a news story about a female rescue worker who had died during a water rescue in Alabama. Later that evening, a mid-level fireman responded: “At least it was just a female.” King then replied, “Copy that!”

In multiple emails with fire personnel, from higher ranking staff to line firemen, King discussed “crushes” he had on various women in both his private and professional world and those women’s appearances. In a September 2013 email, he sent a mid-level firefighter a comparison of two women’s physical appearances and ages. He wrote that one woman, who is identified by her initial and last name and does not appear to be a city employee, is “younger and will be hotter” while the other woman, identified similarly, “is hot now.”

 

 

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