After 33 years on the job and more than three years in the top spot, Pete Dimaria, the Naples Fire Chief, is retiring.
Someone made an allegation prompting an investigation leading to Dimaria retiring.
The City of Naples wouldn’t say who made the allegations, only stating it happened in Sept. 2022. Soon after, the city put chief Dimaria on paid administrative leave, and when the investigation ended, Dimaria decided to retire.
In his 33 years of public service, Dimaria worked his way up the ranks at the Naples Fire Department from firefighter to chief and built a reputation.
“He’s built the fire department to what it is OK we went from we went from just a middle-class fire department to a top fire department, the highest ranking that you could possibly get,” former Naples mayor Bill Barnett, said.
Barnett met Dimaria in 1989 when Barnett was a councilman and Dimaria was a new firefighter.
“He has always been there for his men as he moved up in the ranks and when he was fire chief,” Barnett said.
And Barnett isn’t the only one with a high opinion of Dimaria. City Councilman Paul Perry also had nothing but praise for the former chief.
“There was a little bit of I wouldn’t call it chaos, but a little bit of dysfunction going on in the firehouse. And he really leveled that out. He took the initiative to set up a vaccination station in the fire station. And that ran like clockwork who was just amazing,” Perry said.
The city has nothing but good things to say about the former chief. Also in a news release, they thank Dimaria for his years of public service and wish him the best.
He was on administrative leave you know with pay and I think there’s a key there when you hear that,” Barnett said. “He has just been a standup guy especially for me and for a lot of others.”
WINK News is working to find out more about the investigation. WINK News submitted a public records request with the City of Naples to find out more.
But since Dimaria is the former chief, deputy chief Phil Pennington will take on the role until the city figures out a permanent solution.