Minneapolis fire chief to retire

John Hageman

Minneapolis Fire Chief Alex Jackson, the first African American to lead the department, has announced his retirement Wednesday after four years at the post.

Mayor R.T. Rybak will nominate John Fruetel, a firefighter with 31 years of experience, to replace Jackson. Fruetel retired in 2010 as assistant fire chief and is now an emergency preparedness training manager with the city.

Jackson had come under scrutiny in recent months over the handling of the department’s overtime bills and other financial troubles, according to the Star Tribune.

Mark Lakosky, president of the firefighters union, gave Jackson a 50-50 shot at reappointment. Jackson told the Strib that he expected Rybak to renominate him.

Jackson’s retirement will be effective Feb. 29.