WHEAT RIDGE, Colo. (CBS4)– Wheat Ridge Fire Chief Steven Gillespie is resigning from his department, three weeks after three other fire administrators resigned en masse in a protest over his leadership.

Jerry Cassel, President of the five member board of directors for the Wheat Ridge Fire Protection District, told CBS4 the board voted 4-1 to allow Gillespie to separate from the department. Cassel said Gillespie cited “tension and morale and that separating was in my best interests.”

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Cassel said Gillespie is on paid administrative leave pending board acceptance of a separation letter from Gillespie which should come next week.

Earlier in September, three veteran administrators resigned from the department in a show of frustration and unhappiness over Gillespie’s leadership.

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Wheat Ridge has 33 paid firefighters and a dozen volunteers.

Cassel said the department would likely seek an outside Chief to replace Gillespie. CBS4 attempted to contact Chief Gillespie by phone Thursday afternoon but he did not answer.

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– Written by Brian Maass for CBSDenver.com