CHARLOTTE, NC - Charlotte Fire Chief, Jon Hannan has been placed on a 3-month probationary period after releasing confidential information.
Fire Chief Jon Hannan released a statement Tuesday saying he made a mistake earlier this month involving the release of a memorandum from City Manager Ron Carlee that involved a fellow firefighter.
"I have apologized to the firefighter for that mistake," Hannan said.
Hannan said he received a copy of the memo from an Assistant City Manager on Friday, March 4, as he went into a meeting with members of the city attorneys' office.
Hannan said at the end of the meeting he misunderstood that all topics discussed at the meeting, including the memo had been made public through the actions of others.
He was contacted by a reporter the following week and said he mistakenly provided a hard copy of the memorandum to the reporter.
"I regret not verifying more completely on March 4 or on March 9 whether the memo had in fact already been released and become public record," Hannan said.
Hannan said he learned on or around Sunday, March 20, the memorandum had not been made public.
"I also regret that there is some misunderstanding about whether I have acknowledged providing the memorandum to the press. I believe that press reports misconstrued statements I made on the evening of March 28, 2016 after the City Council’s closed session meeting concerning this matter," Hannan said.
Hannan said he stated that he did not know what had occurred in that meeting and he would not have a statement until he knew what the city staff advised him to do. He said a reporter misconstrued that to mean he denied releasing the memorandum, which Hannan says he did not do so.
Hannan said City Manager Ron Carlee has decided to put a reprimand in his personnel file concerning these events. And has placed him on a 3-month probationary period.
"Because I acknowledge my error in releasing the memo, I accept that reprimand as appropriate. As accomplished, stalwart, and amazing as our Fire Department is, it – and my leadership – can always be improved," Hannan said.
Ron Carlee made the following statement:
"Charlotte is very proud of its Fire Department and has deep appreciation and respect for the men and women who keep the City safe every day. There are numerous examples of individual heroism and extraordinary professionalism in their efforts to save lives and to protect property. Fire Chief Jon Hannan has had a long and distinguished career and can be proud of the outstanding Fire Department that he has helped build and continues to lead.
Today Chief Hannan also issued a statement describing his mistake in releasing confidential information that was part of an employee’s file. He apologized for this error and accepted the consequences for this violation of policy. I respect him for doing so.
Charlotte is in a period of transition, during which it is important to provide stability and consistency in day-to-day operations in order to keep the City moving forward. During this time, it is especially important that our leaders hold themselves and each other to the highest standards and provide support to one another, working toward the mutual success of the city. The Fire Chief has committed to model these behaviors. I will support him in doing so."