Exclusive: East Syracuse Fire Chief suspended for inappropriate comment to mayor

The Chief of the East Syracuse Fire Department has been suspended from his job by the Village Board.

On Monday night, East Syracuse Mayor Bob Tackman confirmed to CNYcentral that Chief Robert Russell is "unable to act as chief."

On Tuesday night, Fire Chief Bob Russell spoke exclusively to CNYcentral about his suspension, which he says was over a disagreement with Mayor Tackman about a supervisory change.

Russell said Mayor Tackman told him in an email last Wednesday that the mayor wants to shift supervision of fire department caretakers from the chief to the head of codes enforcement.

The fire department currently employs two full-time and one part-time caretaker to maintain department equipment and buildings.

Russell said when he spoke to the mayor in person on Friday, he was told there would be no discussion about the changes. In response, Russell said he made an inappropriate comment to the mayor, which resulted in his suspension.

Mayor Tackman was meeting in an executive session on Tuesday night to decide Russell's fate with the department.