ANJ Investigates

INVESTIGATES: Jacksonville’s chief of emergency services resigns

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — Action News Jax Investigates has learned the man in charge of making sure Jacksonville is ready for hurricane season has resigned.

This comes days after Action News Jax Investigative Reporter Emily Turner exposed accusations of sexual harassment and other issues that never made it into Todd Smith’s personnel file.


Smith has resigned as the head of Jacksonville Fire and Rescue Department’s emergency services division less than a month before hurricane season begins. This comes on the heels of Turner’s exclusive investigations into multiple allegations of wrongdoing.

Turner uncovered sexual harassment allegations made against him that were never documented. The woman didn’t want to file an official report, but the incident was serious enough that her supervisor called Smith’s boss, Jacksonville Fire Chief Keith Powers, and it went all the way to the city’s Office of General Counsel and Employee Services. However, Turner found no record of anything in Smith’s personnel file.

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Turner also found that Smith was investigated by the city’s Office of Inspector General for allegations he “falsified training records ... in order for the whistleblower to be eligible for promotion” and that it “may have been done on more than one occasion.”

The inspector general referred the whistleblower to the State Attorney’s Office after determining it was outside its jurisdiction, but this too is missing from Smith’s personnel file.

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Friday morning, Chief Smith submitted his resignation letter and the city announced Andre Ayoub as the interim replacement for the head of emergency services division.

Action News Jax has obtained the text of Smith’s resignation letter, which can be read below:

“Mr. Hughes,

“Good afternoon.

“Unfortunately, as well understood community-wide, some local newscasters do not seek facts but instead relish unfounded allegations, tabloid drama, and creating ongoing discontent.

“I want to be clear that the recent news story about me is completely false, yet another example of their utter falsehoods bent only on ruin.

“It is well known that throughout my decades of service, I have always loved my City, specifically the Jacksonville Fire and Rescue Department.

“Fortunately, by bringing together an excellent team, we created and supported so many incredible opportunities for the people of our community.

“In the best interest of the department and the City, I resign as the Director and Division Chief of Emergency Preparedness to avoid further distractions in the weeks leading up to Hurricane Season and to prevent damage imposed by ongoing false narratives.

“I look forward to continuing to serve the department and my community, looking forward to many new possibilities.

“Respectfully, Todd A. Smith”

We will have much more on the details of Smith’s departure coming up on CBS47 and FOX30 Action News Jax at 5.

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