Fire division chief suspended for racist slur

By Jim Piggott, General assignment reporter, jpiggott@wjxt.com
Published On: Jun 02 2014 12:43:34 PM EDT
Updated On: Jun 02 2014 11:04:34 PM EDT

Jacksonville's fire marshal Chief Kevin Jones admits to using the N-word to describe the Welcome to Rockville concert, and now he's being punished for it.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -

The fire marshal of the Jacksonville Fire-Rescue Division received a 10-day suspension for making racist remarks about people attending the Welcome to Rockville concert in April.

Division Chief Kevin Jones was disciplined for "willful violation of the provisions of department rules." Officials said he acknowledged and signed the corresponding notice of disciplinary action when he received it Friday.

"You used the 'N' word twice, including once when discussing the upcoming Rockville Fest Concert scheduled for Metro Park; and a second time when retelling a story involving the previous Chief using the 'N' word," the disciplinary report reads. "You admitted to using the word more than once."

"Fire Rescue personnel will not use racial, gender or ethnic slurs," the report reads. "The City of Jacksonville and the Jacksonville Fire Rescue Department will not tolerate inappropriate and offensive language."

According to an email to the city, Jones used a racial slur -- the N-word -- to describe people going to the music festival held at Metro Park. According to the complaint, Jones was going over the number of people allowed in the park when he allegedly said: "We can't allow more than 20,000 people in the park and if those ------- try to put more than that in the park, they will have to deal with me."

DOCUMENT: Read email complaint about Chief Jones

The complaint goes on to say that he went on to laugh about the remarks and making light of it.

Jones has been with the department for years, but he has only been the fire marshal for several months.

Fire Chief Marty Senterfitt, who signed off on the suspension, was out of town Monday and not available for comment.

James Edwards, the head of the Black Firefighters Association, believes the suspension is appropriate.

"I am satisfied with it as long as they are consistent with the discipline across the board, either black or white," Edwards said.