Orlando fire chief resigns 2 months after suspension due to arrest

ORLANDO, Fla. — Orlando Fire Chief Benjamin Barksdale resigned from his job leading the Orlando Fire Department on Friday.

A department spokesperson said following his resignation, Deputy Fire Chief Craig Buckley will serve as the interim chief.


Barksdale was arrested following an incident at a restaurant in North Carolina in August. He was arrested on a warrant for assault and turned himself in, and was later released on bond.

“I am submitting my resignation in best interest to the City of Orlando due to the languishing legal process with resolving the allegations against me from the City of Charlotte NC,” Barksdale wrote in his resignation letter.

READ: Orlando fire chief suspended over warrant issued in North Carolina

Barksdale was initially suspended by the department with pay after the warrant was issued in North Carolina, but was since been suspended without pay, a city spokesperson said.

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: UPDATE: North Carolina restaurant worker describes alleged assault by Orlando Fire Chief

This is a breaking news story. Stay with Channel 9 Eyewitness News for updates.

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Sarah Wilson

Sarah Wilson, WFTV.com

Sarah Wilson joined WFTV Channel 9 in 2018 as a digital producer after working as an award-winning newspaper reporter for nearly a decade in various communities across Central Florida.