Natchez Fire Chief placed on administrative leave with pay

Published 11:40 am Saturday, August 25, 2018

NATCHEZ — Natchez Fire Chief Aaron Wesley has been placed on administrative leave and Battalion Chief Ventris Green has been appointed interim chief, Natchez Mayor Darryl Grennell said.

“I placed Aaron Wesley on administrative leave with pay,” Grennell said. “There were some complaints filed against him. Those complaints have to be investigated, which is confidential, so I have placed him on administrative leave with pay while they are being investigated.”

Grennell said he placed Wesley on leave Friday afternoon after learning complaints had been filed against Wesley with the city’s human resources department. Grennell said he could not disclose the nature of the complaints.

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The only action Grennell said he can take as mayor in such cases is to suspend with pay. Any further action will have to be taken up by the board of aldermen as to whether to suspend without pay or to terminate.

Grennell said the board of aldermen likely will have some discussion on the issue in executive session at Tuesday’s regular meeting but likely will take no action since the complaints have to be investigated.

Green has been a firefighter for more than 22 years, Grennell said, adding Green also has military experience.

“I selected Ventris,” Grennell said, “because I feel certain he will make sure the citizens of Natchez have good fire protection to save lives and protect property.”

Green has indicated he plans to rotate shifts among the department’s nine captains to fill his vacant spot as battalion chief while he serves as interim chief, Grennell said.