Denver Fire Chief Eric Tade has resigned his position with the Denver Fire Department. Tade gave his resignation to Denver Mayor Michael Hancock on Monday afternoon.
“Chief Tade is dedicated to this department, and his decision that new leadership was needed reflects his devotion to the men and women who serve our residents in the Denver Fire Department,” Mayor Hancock said in a statement. “When the Chief told me it was time for a new set of eyes, as difficult of a decision as that was, I knew he meant it, and I let him know that I appreciated his courage and wisdom in recognizing that it was time for a change.”
Tade will continue to serve in the Denver Fire Department as Assistant Chief. He will leave his position as Chief on March 16.
“It has been an honor to serve the people of Denver as their Fire Chief, and I want to thank them, the department and the mayor for this opportunity to lead one of the premier fire departments in the country,” Chief Tade said in a statement. “It’s the right time to step back and bring in new leadership to implement new strategies and a fresh perspective to foster continued improvement. That’s what the men and women of this department deserve, and I remain committed to this department and the people we serve every day.”
Contact7 Investigates has exclusively obtained a letter to the Denver mayor from Denver Fire Department Chief Eric C. Tade, in which the fire chief says he is stepping down from his position after an incident at a recent event for retiring firefighters. He will remain with the department as an assistant chief.
Over the phone, outgoing Denver Fire Department Chief Tade spoke exclusively with Contact7 Investigates’s Chief Investigative Reporter Tony Kovaleski, saying that he was deeply disturbed by inappropriate comments that opened the Denver Firefighters Local 858 and Protective Associations’ Firefighters Annual Ball, Retiree Banquet and Awards Ceremony.
Tade told Denver7 that he made his disappointment known to the event organizers but chose to stay because the event was honoring retiring firefighters.
A similar incident happened in 2019.
Several attendees told CBS4 an emcee at the event and a comedian joked at length about sex toys, a topic that caused problems at the same event a year ago.
In 2019, at the party, a sex toy was apparently raffled off at the annual Denver Fire Department gala, prompting Tade and other city officials to condemn the action as inappropriate, unprofessional and of poor judgment, after photos emerged of what had occurred.
Multiple firefighters posed with the sex toy in a photo booth.
At the time, Tade told CBS4, “It’s completely inappropriate. You shouldn’t have to tell anybody that. It was clearly a bad decision.”