Controversial Black Forest Fire Department Chief Bob Harvey takes medical leave

BLACK FOREST, Colo. - Bob Harvey, controversial chief of the Black Forest Fire Department, is going on medical leave.

Harvey was publicly criticized by El Paso County Sheriff Terry Maketa and was targeted by a petition for dismissal over his management of the Black Forest Wildfire. A 2,000 page report from the commissioned by the Board of Directors later exonerated him of allegations of unprofessional behavior or misconduct.

Harvey announced his medical leave during a department Board of Directors meeting Wednesday evening.

KRDO-TV reported Harvey cited Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder from the fire and a hostile work environment in his announcement and then left the meeting.

While Harvey is on leave, the board announced Assistant Chief for Operations Jim Rebitski will lead the department.

The Black Forest Fire burned 488 structures and caused an estimated $420.5 million in damage during June 2013.

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