Fire chief on leave

File photo
COAL CITY FIRE Protection District Chief James Sheldon has been placed on paid administrative leave by the district’s Board of Trustees.

By: 
STAFF REPORT

Coal City Fire Protection District Chief James Sheldon has been placed on paid administrative leave, the reason why is unknown.
The fire district’s attorney, Thomas Gilbert, a partner at Ottosen, Britz, Kelly, Cooper, Gilbert & DiNolfo, said there was little he could say about the matter, but did confirm Sheldon had been placed on leave by action of the district’s Board of Trustees and the leave became effective on Tuesday, Oct. 22.
Gilbert reports deputy chief James Seerup has been appointed by the board to serve as the department’s acting chief and firefighter/paramedic Karl Wexelberg was named to assume Seerup’s post, in an acting capacity, as deputy chief of operations.
The attorney would not say if there is an ongoing investigation or if one is pending, nor how long the chief’s leave would last.
Sheldon was appointed to the position in November 2011 to fill the post being vacated by the retirement of long-term chief Harold Holsinger. Sheldon officially took over the post in May 2012.
Sheldon has 40 years of experience in the fire service. He started his career in the emergency medical services division of the Lemont Fire Department and a few years later began as a firefighter there. In 1988, he was named a lieutenant and held the rank of battalion chief when he left Lemont to take on his new assignment in Coal City.