Read memo given to Pensacola fire chief and deputy fire chief

February 4, 2016

Former Pensacola City Councilwoman Maren DeWeese posted on her blog yesterday the memo that Assistant City Administrator Keith Wilkins handed to Pensacola Fire Chief Matt Schmitt and Deputy Fire Chief Joe Glover before he placed them on administrative leave pending an investigation.

Deweese has been a consistent supporter of the Pensacola Fire Department. She has written extensively about firefighter issues.

Regarding the memo, she wrote, “Each man is given a letter, unsigned by any City official, on the Mayor’s letterhead, informing them that they are being placed on administrative leave.

From: Keith Wilkins
Re: Administrative Leave

The City has been made aware of circumstances that require an investigation be completed within the Fire Department. Effective immediately, you are placed on Administrative Leave until otherwise directed. Your pay and benefits will remain unchanged during the investigation process.

Upon receipt of this memorandum you are required to return any/all City items issued through the City’s Technology Resources Office, the Garage and the Human Resources Office. Specifically, this includes your City identification badge, fleet car keys, building access keys, cell phones, radios, laptops, pagers and/or any and all other items that would provide for your access to City facilities and property. Because you will be on leave with pay, you are expected to receive and return call or other forms of communication from City staff or their representatives until the investigation has been completed. If you have personal items you wish to collect from your office, you may contact me at 435-5627 and I will arrange their delivery.

Your restrictions are as follows:

Immediately and until the investigation is completed, you are not to contact or discuss this investigation with any City employee

You are on Administrative Leave and must be available at the City’s convenience during normal working hours should we contact/request to meet with you.

You will not utilize a take home vehicle.

You will not operate a City vehicle.

You are to provide in this memorandum the number in which you can be reached during working hours

You are prohibited from accessing, directly or through another user, any and all City mainframe or network computer systems containing any and all PFD information.

Failure to comply with the restrictions outlined in this memorandum may subject you to disciplinary action, up to and including termination. Through your signature below, you are acknowledging receipt of this memorandum.


Schmitt, Glover and the public have not been told what is being investigated. The two fire department leaders have been denied administrative appeal.

Some have tried to lump this city matter with the State Attorney’s investigation into the Pace Fire District. Pace Fire Chief Donnie Wadkins and Secretary Pat Wadkins have been placed on paid administrative leave. Santa Rosa County asked the state attorney’s office to investigate.

The State Attorney’s office is not involved in the city matter. City Administrator Eric Olson has hired an outside attorney to do the investigation.

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