NEW BRITAIN, Conn. (CBS Connecticut) – A month after he was placed on paid leave following an investigation that faulted him for racial insensitivity, New Britain Fire Chief Thomas Ronalter is retiring

“Today, I have accepted the retirement of Chief Thomas Ronalter … I wish him well in his future endeavors,” Mayor Erin Stewart said in a written statement Tuesday.

The investigation was prompted by Ronalter’s refusal to hang a photograph of the department’s first black chief, Mark Carr, on a wall of honor. Carr retired in 2012 and died two years later.

Ronalter released a statement in August saying he detests racism and has never treated people differently based on race. At the time, he said he would not resign and vowed to fight the allegations.

“As to the future, I wish the next fire chief well as he builds on the solid foundation of great people, programs and facilities for continued progress within the New Britain Fire Department,” Ronalter said in a statement announcing his retirement Tuesday.

Stewart says she plans to conduct a national search for the city’s next fire chief.


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