Orange County

Orlando fire chief suspended over warrant issued in North Carolina

ORLANDO, Fla. — The Orlando fire chief has been suspended after a warrant was issued in North Carolina.

Charlotte-Mecklenburg police said Orlando Fire Chief Benjamin Barksdale was involved in some kind of incident at a restaurant last month.

Documents say the charge is assault on a woman.


No details as to what happened in the restaurant were immediately available, but Channel 9 has learned they are misdemeanor chargers and there will not be an arrest.

Barksdale was brought into the fire department about a year and a half ago, vowing to change the culture for women in it after a Channel 9 investigation into the former chief revealed allegations of sexual harassment and retaliation.

READ: City of Orlando to pay assistant fire chief almost $1 million to settle discrimination, sexual harassment lawsuit

“We have been made aware of a misdemeanor arrest warrant involving Fire Chief Benjamin Barksdale in the state of North Carolina,” a statement from both Orlando Fire Department and the city said. “Chief Barksdale has been suspended with pay. In his absence, the acting Fire Chief will be Deputy Fire Chief Craig Buckley.”

Barksdale is being suspended with pay.

READ: Orlando police investigate after several cars set on fire at apartment complex

Shannon Butler

Shannon Butler,

Shannon joined the Eyewitness News team in 2013.

Adam Poulisse,

Adam Poulisse joined WFTV in November 2019.