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St. Paul fire chief steps down following reprimand

Documents say Tim Butler retaliated against an employee.

St. Paul Fire Chief Tim Butler has stepped down from his role, the city announced Saturday morning. 

This comes a week after documents made public Butler had received a written reprimand in 2016 for retaliating against an employee.

According to the Star Tribune, an investigation was finished last year, but its findings weren't released publicly right away because Butler appealed. KSTP says the appeal was denied earlier this month and the documents were made public. You can see them here

The written reprimand, which is Dated Dec. 22, 2016, claimed that Butler "repeatedly questioned" an employee about why they filed a complaint against him. 

While the reprimand isn't very specific, it explains how Butler's actions may deter someone from making a complaint in the future – and that fits its definition of retaliation. 

"While it doesn't appear that it was intentional, your questioning ... did have a retaliatory impact," the document said. 

The Star Tribune says this was one of five misconduct complaints made against Butler. He also had a strained relationship with the fire department's union, which labeled him an "Anti-union chief," Kare 11 reports

About Butler

According to a news release, Butler has served as chief for 10 years. 

“The Saint Paul Fire Department is one of the best in the country,” said Mayor Coleman in a statement. “Over his decade of service as Chief, Tim Butler has been an important part of maintaining the excellent quality of service that SPFD delivers to our residents.”

Butler has asked to return to his previous role as fire emergency management and communications chief.

Assistant Fire Chief for Emergency Medical Services Matt Simpson will serve as the acting fire chief. 

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