Chief of St. Tammany Fire District 12 removed from post as investigation continues

Chief of St. Tammany Fire District 12 removed from post as investigation continues
Updated: May. 17, 2018 at 6:31 PM CDT
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(WVUE) - The board of directors of St. Tammany Fire District 12 voted Thursday to remove Stephen Krentel as acting fire chief, and an investigation into allegations of wrongdoing continues.

Those awaiting the results of a six-month investigation into allegations of theft and public intimidation against Krentel packed Fire District 12 Thursday, but they'll have to wait a little longer. The board said after a six-month probe, it needs another week.

"I believe the board did what it needed to do to protect the organization," said Krentel.

Krentel had been accused by firefighter Tom Williamson of public intimidation, theft, and of having an affair with a subordinate. The board also launched an investigation into Williamson after an anonymous complaint. This afternoon, Williamson was cleared of any wrongdoing, prompting cheers from firefighters at the meeting.

"We're thrilled that the investigation is finished and he's been found innocent," said Williamson's attorney, Roy Burns.

As the investigation into Krentel continues, the former acting chief is also eager for closure in the investigation into the death of his wife, Nanette, who was found shot to death in the couple's burned-out home last July.

"More anxious for that than anything else in my life," said Krentel.

Krentel returns to his old job as chief of administration at Fire District 12, with the results of the investigation into allegations against him set to be released next week.

The Fire District 12 board appointed Mike Haley as the new acting fire chief.

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