• Investigation of former Apopka fire chief results released

    By: Ken Tyndall , Katlyn Brieskorn

    Updated:

    APOPKA, Fla. - The city of Apopka released the results of an investigation into several claims of misconduct against former fire Chief Chuck Carnesale.

    The results released are inconclusive, because the chief retired before he was ever asked about the allegations.

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    Carnesale had been with the Apopka Fire Department for more than 30 years but decided to end his career less than two weeks ago and not participate in the investigation.

    The investigation includes discrepancies in the department's use of funds, improper political activity and favoritism in hiring. 

    Carnesale retired at the end of last month and was not interviewed for the investigation.

    According to the 64-page report, since he could not explain or be confronted with evidence, the report determined the violations of fire department and city police are inconclusive and essentially moot.

    "The investigation was ongoing, and the chief was willing to respond, but near the end of the investigation, as we were getting ready, he made the determination to retire," said Joe Byrd, Apopka city attorney.

    The "internal administrative investigation" details a list of allegations against the former chief.

    The investigation determined some of the allegations, including, misappropriation of funds and discriminatory hiring practices were unfounded.

    But most of the other allegations were inconclusive because the chief was never interviewed.

    "The report stands on its own and the commission and myself, we have no other comment other than to just try to get some general guidelines out of it," Byrd said.

    While Carnesale did not participate in the investigation, the city attorney said the chief never interfered with it.

    Meanwhile, Assistant Chief Sean Wylam is set to become the new fire chief in one week.

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