Paragould Suspends Fire Chief as FBI Investigates

JANUARY 25, 2007 - Posted at 3:27 p.m. CST, updated at 4:36 p.m. CST

PARAGOULD, AR - Paragould's fire chief has been placed on administrative leave pending the outcome of an investigation by the FBI.

Mayor Mike Gaskill says Chief Eddie Brown was placed on administrative leave, with pay, on Friday, January 19.  "The action was necessitated by the fact that we have been approached by the Federal Bureau of Investigation regarding allegations of wrongdoing in the Paragould Fire Department."

The nature of the investigation is not clear, and Gaskill would only add, "We are cognizant of the fact that Chief Brown is presumed innocent.  We are also cognizant of the fact that we have an absolute obligation to cooperate in every way possible with the investigation, and we are doing so."

Mark Wilson of the FBI told The Paragould Daily Press that the investigation should take less than a month.

(The Associated Press contributed to this report.)