Denver Fire Chief Eric Tade is stepping down amid a union-sponsored fighters ball last weekend that was rife with sexual innuendo for the second year in a row.
“After deep reflection on the potential benefits to the department of a change in leadership,” Tade informed Mayor Michael Hancock of his resignation late Monday afternoon, according to the Tuesday release from the mayor’s office.
“Chief Tade is dedicated to this department, and his decision that new leadership was needed reflects his devotion to the men and women who serve our residents in the Denver Fire Department,” Hancock said in a statement. “When the Chief told me it was time for a new set of eyes, as difficult of a decision as that was, I knew he meant it, and I let him know that I appreciated his courage and wisdom in recognizing that it was time for a change.”
“It's the right time to step back and bring in new leadership to implement new strategies and a fresh perspective to foster continued improvement,” Tade said in the release. “That’s what the men and women of this department deserve, and I remain committed to this department and the people we serve every day.”
According to CBS4, which first reported Tade’s departure, the emcee and a comedian at the event joked “at length about sex toys,” a similar occurrence that happened at the 2019 event and put the department under a lot of heat.
During last year’s party, a sex toy was reportedly raffled off, causing Tade and other city officials to publicly condemn the action. Tade told CBS4 at the time that it was “completely inappropriate” and “clearly a bad decision.”
Tade will step down to assistant chief on March 16. He served in the top spot since 2010 and oversaw a department of 900 firefighters in 38 firehouses.