Gerald Grimm, the chief of the La Marque Fire Department since 2013, has resigned.
Grimm, who recently was embroiled in a public disagreement with interim City Manager Charlene Warren, confirmed Friday he had submitted a resignation to the city on Wednesday evening. His last day at work was Thursday.
The city on Thursday named Michael Carlson, a captain who has worked for the department since 2014, as the interim chief.
In an interview Friday, Grimm said his age — he’s 74 — and the recent death of his older brother, were factors in deciding to leave the department.
“I have finished all that I came here to do in La Marque,” Grimm said. “I have been in the public sector, both the military and the fire service, for almost 50 years. I thought it was time to step aside and enjoy the rest of my life in retirement.”
He was proud of his work in the department, including increasing the diversity within the department and leading the construction of a new fire station, which opened in 2018, he said.
Grimm planned to spend his retirement between his homes in League City and New Mexico, he said.
Grimm’s resignation comes weeks after he publicly disagreed with Warren over the reappointment of the fire department’s second-in-command, Capt. William Reed.
In February, Grimm fired Reed after a firehouse confrontation with another firefighter. In interviews with The Daily News, Reed said the confrontation began after he raised an issue within the department that some of the department’s vehicles were inoperable.
Grimm confirmed at the time that some of the department’s vehicles didn’t work, and that the issue had been addressed. Reed’s firing was related to threats of violence and then refusing to apologize, Grimm said.
Grimm’s decision to fire Reed was reversed by Warren in March, after she decided that Grimm’s claims could not be substantiated, she said.
Grimm did not blame city management for his choice to resign, and said he was looking forward to the city’s newly hired city manager, Charles “Tink” Jackson, to take his position in May.
Grimm said he met with Jackson and found him to be “inspiring and very sincere.”
Grimm came to La Marque in 2013 as an interim chief, and helped lead a search for a new permanent chief, though he was ultimately picked to be the permanent chief.
He replaced Chief Todd Weidman. Before moving to La Marque, Grimm was the chief of the Texas City Fire Department from 1991 to 2007. He worked 22 years in the Albuquerque, New Mexico Fire Department before moving to Texas.
A city spokeswoman on Friday could not confirm whether Grimm received any sort of severance payment upon his resignation, or whether he’ll receive retirement benefits from the city.