Fire chief remains on paid leave as Hallandale Beach investigation drags on

WSVN — The City of Hallandale Beach has been investigating its fire department for eight months. Tonight, there are questions about how long it’s taking and how much it’s costing taxpayers. Investigative reporter Carmel Cafiero is on the case.

Daniel Sullivan is the Fire Rescue Chief for Hallandale Beach. He hasn’t been to work since April, but he has still been getting paid. It amounts to more than $78,000.

Commissioner Keith London: "This should have probably been wrapped up in a couple of weeks, a month at the most. For it to linger like this, just is inappropriate."

Sullivan has been on paid leave for reportedly talking about a confidential investigation into his department. Now he is also being investigated by the city.

This is video of the chief’s summer vacation to Africa, and that’s not sitting well with some of his city’s taxpayers. But the city manager says Sullivan had the vacation time available, and the trip was allowed. Sullivan is being investigated due to claims that he was aware of a hostile work environment inside the fire department and that he retaliated against staff who complained.

Mayor Joy Cooper: "There is a very serious investigation ongoing."

Mayor Joy Cooper would not discuss specifics, but a report obtained by 7News shows staffers have complained about inappropriate racial, religious, and gender remarks from managers and questions about a lack of diversity at the top.

Mayor Joy Cooper: "Any gender, any race discrimination I take very, very, very seriously as does my city staff, and as should anyone."

Because of the ongoing investigation, Chief Sullivan turned down our request for an interview. But in an April memo, he defended his record. In part it reads: "As someone who rose through the rank and file to become chief, and the creator of the most progressive policies relative to diversity and pregnancy in Hallandale Beach history, I am supportive of any employee expressing their feelings and airing their grievances through the proper channels."
 
How it all ends, and how much it costs residents of Hallandale Beach, remain smoldering questions. Carmel Cafiero, 7News.

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