Robertson Fire Protection District has a new boss in Chief Don Miner. Former fire chief David Tilley announced Sept. 11, 2012 he planned to retire in 2013, a recently did so.
"It's just time for me to retire," Tilley said. "It's been a great run for me, but I've certainly enjoyed you folks in the City of Hazelwood."
Tilley introduced the new chief at the February 20 Hazelwood City Council Meeting. Robertson services the northwestern portion of Hazelwood along with Bridgeton and portions on unincorporated St. Louis County.
"I'd like to thank the City of Hazelwood for the times I had working with you all," Tilley said. "Hopefully we will continue the long-lasting relationship."
Tilley was with the Robertson Fire Protection District for fifteen years. In his tenure as fire chief, the district has realized an airport expansion, buyout of half of the fire district, a renovation to station one located on Missouri Bottom Road in the City of Hazelwood, along with a brand new station two located at 3820 Taussig Road in Bridgeton.
Hazelwood Mayor Matthew Robinson said he enjoyed working with Tilley throughout the years as Hazelwood grew a relationship with the fire district.
"We always kept the line of communication open and that's important," he said.
Tilley's name has been tarnished with more recent headlines regarding a federal probe into some discrimination and employee abuse claims.
Just two months before he announced plans to retire, the U.S. attorney's office filed a civil lawsuit alleging the Robertson Fire Protection District retaliated against a white supervisor for refusing to "dig up dirt" on two black employees, according to the suit.
The suit, filed on behalf of the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, says that in 2004 or 2005, Chief Tilley called then-Battalion Chief Steve Wilson into his office and told him to go through the computers of the black employees, referring to them with a derogatory racial slur.
When Wilson refused subsequent action was taken against him. On Sept. 6, 2006, Wilson was demoted to private. He was suspended on Sept. 11 and fired 10 days later. With the help of the union he got his job back. To read more about the allegations click here.