Ponce Inlet fire chief accused of creating hostile work environment

- The Ponce Inlet fire chief is facing disciplinary action after officials say he created a hostile work environment.

 A report just released by the town of Ponce Inlet says Chief Dan Scales violated policy in how he’s been treating his co-workers.

Several firefighters filed a complaint about Scales in December. 

In interviews outlined in the report, one firefighter says the chief made the work environment “hostile and fearful.” 

In the report, the chief is accused of using swear words when referring to his employees, talking about wanting to fire people and retaliating against a lieutenant for filing the complaint against him.

The town manager has decided to suspend Scales without pay for 120 hours, cut his pay by 6 percent and put him on probation for a year, according to the report.

Scales tells FOX 35 he’s been the fire chief for more than a decade and has never had an issue before. 

He declined an on-camera interview, but did provide a statement.

"I have reviewed the findings and I take responsibility for my actions, as I should,” Scales said over the phone. “I'm going to learn from this experience and make myself and the department a better place…” 

He will have the opportunity to meet with the town manager about the investigation on Monday. 

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