O.B. narrows fire chief search

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Oak Bluffs has narrowed its search for a new fire chief to three candidates.

The finalists are Andrew M. Went of Lincoln, RI, William R. Choate of Lakeville, and W.F. Nelson Wirtz, of Brewster.

“All candidates meet the qualifications and experience for the position of fire chief. Thorough background and reference checking was conducted, in which all three candidates returned excellent references,” interim town administrator Wendy Brough wrote in an email to The Times.

The town has been searching for a new fire chief since the departure of former Fire Chief John Rose who resigned under pressure following the town’s $97,500 settlement with Cynthia Hatt, a former fire department employee who accused Rose of making sexual advances and then retaliating against her when she rejected them.

Following Rose’s departure, the town tapped Rose’s brother Manuel “Manny” Rose to head the department before hiring former Bourne Fire Chief Marty Greene on a six-month contract. Once Greene left, the town appointed Police Chief Erik Blake and former Tisbury Fire Chief John Schilling to run the department and assist in the search for a new chief.

The search for a new fire chief comes as the town is also conducting a search for a new town administrator following the departure of Robert Whirtenour.

Candidate interviews will be conducted via Zoom and begin at 5 pm. 

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