HORRY COUNTY, SC (WMBF) - Horry County Fire Chief Fred Crosby has been cited with actions demonstrating a "failure of leadership" and negatively impacting "the operations of the County and Fire/Rescue Department," according to a disciplinary report filed December 15.
In the report, Crosby was cited for "violated County policies or procedures and caused unharmonious relationships with supervisors and coworkers," among seven additional violations.
The Horry County Fire Rescue chief was ordered a written reprimand to receive one week suspension without pay by Assistant County Administrator Chris Eldridge.
According to the report, Crosby failed to properly follow his chain of command to the administrator with regard to various issues. The report states Crosby engaged in unauthorized communications concerning staffing and propay and initiated "direct communications with County Council without consulting or informing Administrator."
Crosby failed to "work with Administrator in a coordinated, organized and deliberate manner to address overtime cost overruns, creating budget shortfalls and unharmonious relationships," the disciplinary report states.
In addition, Crosby reportedly attended meetings and conducted other business in unprofessional attire, including ball caps, "despite repeated requests [to] dress more professionally, portraying a negative image of Fire/Rescue department to the public and causing embarrassment."
The disciplinary report states Crosby demonstrated "inefficiency or lack of application in effective management of overtime costs." As a result, the "failure to develop or communicate innovate strategies to deal with this issue" was cited in the report.
Crosby was cited for "inappropriately issuing general communications to staff concerning confidential requests for information and points of discussion…resulting in confusion and disharmony" within the department.
Administration claims Crosby "deliberately" misrepresented staffing changes; failed to follow guidelines, and went around administration to get unapproved items despite disapproval; issued written reprimands without following procedure.
The report states the incidences occurred on "diverse dates."
According to the report, Crosby is required to take corrective action, which includes: following all county guidelines and administrator directives; immediately ceasing informal blogs, emails or other communication to staff; consulting with administrator prior to engaging in course of action; and ensuring that all relevant parties concur on course of action before communicating and directing staff.
WMBF News tried to reach Crosby for comment.
According to the report, Crosby commented, "I respectfully disagree with the assumptions in this. I do believe I have failed to communicate adequately and will modify my actions."
Staffing for the department consists of over 320 full time career staff and over 300 volunteers.
Horry County Fire Rescue is the largest department in South Carolina.
Crosby has served as Horry County Fire Rescue Fire Chief since November 2012.