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Denver Fire's deputy chief resigns from current position following DUI arrest

Jeremy Vigil
Posted at 5:17 PM, Feb 01, 2022
and last updated 2022-02-01 19:39:45-05

ARVADA, Colo. — The Denver Fire Department's deputy chief has stepped down as second-in-command following a drunk driving arrest.

"This just was a life choice that happened to have been the wrong choice," DFD spokesperson Cpt. Greg Pixley said Tuesday.

Arvada police arrested Jeremy Vigil, 49, over the weekend. Although the police report wasn't immediately available, Denver7 learned Vigil refused to take a breathalyzer or a blood test.

Pixley confirms Vigil was driving a company car at the time and was off the clock.

"It's not uncommon for firefighters all the way up to the chief rank to have take-home vehicles," Pixley said.

Vigil submitted a resignation letter Monday, which Denver7 has obtained. It reads:

"As the Deputy Chief of Denver Fire Department, it is imperative to communicate to all members that effective immediately I am resigning from the role of Deputy Chief. Some actions and decisions I made over the weekend are not in alignment with the visions and values of our organization. This Department has incredibly dedicated, loyal, and strong people leading the way. Please continue to endeavor to make this Department a leader in the fire service, and thank you for your contributions and the sacrifices that you make."

"At this time, Chief Vigil is taking time off. He has earned time off during his position as Deputy Chief. And once that is completed, then there will be a decision made of how he will continue," Pixley said.

While Vigil has stepped down as deputy chief, he has not quit the department. Instead, he's now in an assistant chief role as the investigation into these allegations unfolds.

"The disciplinary process will be what it is not only within the City and County of Denver but also through the state and the Department of Motor Vehicles," Pixley said.

Vigil has been with the department for 23 years. He has no previous DUI arrests, Pixley says. However, records show he was charged with DUI in 1994, years prior to joining DFD.

In addition to the sentence Vigil could face if convicted, he could also face a 30-day suspension or be fired from the Denver Fire Department, according to its penalty table. Driving a company vehicle while under the influence is one of its most serious violations.

Armando Saldate III, nominee for executive director of the Denver Department of Public Safety, sent Denver7 the following statement:

“I have been made aware of DFD Deputy Chief Vigil’s arrest for a DUI last weekend. I am extremely disappointed in the actions and outcome of this incident, and Deputy Chief Vigil will be subject to the discipline process. Due to this, Vigil has stepped down from his position as Deputy Chief and the Public Integrity Division has opened an internal investigation into the incident.”