Paragould Fire Chief Resigns as FBI Investigation Continues

FEBRUARY 5, 2007 - Posted at 2:45 P.M. CST

PARAGOULD, AR - Paragould Fire Chief Eddie Brown has resigned his position with the city as federal authorities continue their investigation of him.

The news arrived in a letter. After 24 years, the City of Paragould is without a fire chief.

"It was delivered to us at the end of business on Thursday. It was just a letter of resignation, very simply put," says Paragould Mayor Mike Gaskill.

The letter from Chief Eddie Brown read: "It has been an honor to work for the City of Paragould for these many years. I respectfully submit this resignation letter to you at this time."

Brown had been out of the office since January 19th. That's when the mayor suspended Chief Brown after he was informed by the FBI that Brown was the target of an investigation.

"The FBI was looking into allegations against him and we thought it would be in the best interest for all involved that we place him on administrative leave with pay," says Mayor Gaskill.

We asked Mayor Gaskill about Brown as a fire chief and to get his thoughts on the resignation.

"He held those fire training standards very high and the people of Paragould benefited from that, the firemen benefited from that and it's one of the reasons our department is as strong as it is," says Mayor Gaskill.

Now that Brown has resigned, there's no need for him to be suspended or even terminated. The City of Paragould is off the hook.

"On administrative leave, he was still employed by the City of Paragould in the position he was in. By resigning, what this does is gives us the opportunity to move forward without having to wait for anything else," adds Mayor Gaskill.

The nature of the investigation remains unclear at this time. Mayor Gaskill also told us the Paragould Fire Department was not part of the FBI investigation. It has strictly focused on allegations against Former Chief Brown.