Fire Official Dismissed After Swearing At Reporter

DETROIT (AP) – A deputy fire commissioner has lost his job after swearing at a television reporter and swatting a microphone from his hand.

Detroit Fire Chief Kwaku Atara says Fred Wheeler was “unappointed” Thursday.

The dismissal comes after a testy exchange this week with WJBK-TV reporter Charlie LeDuff. During a report, LeDuff asked Wheeler about conditions at fire stations, and the deputy commissioner shouted a profanity at him and slapped a microphone to the ground.

WJBK and The Detroit News say Wheeler issued a statement Thursday afternoon that said he had resigned.

Wheeler says he’s “grateful for the opportunity” to work with Mayor Bing.

The dismissal is the fourth time during Bing’s administration a top public safety official has been fired.

(© Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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