County hires fire marshal

By Kristen Tribe | Published Saturday, May 4, 2013

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After more than a year, Wise County finally has a new fire marshal.

Charles Beard of Weatherford was hired this week. County Treasurer Katherine Hudson said Beard formally accepted the position Friday and will start May 13.

The post is an appointed position with a two-year term, which started Jan. 1, and it requires him to move to Wise County.

Hudson said Beard has more than 25 years experience in public safety. He was most recently a firefighter with the Weatherford Fire Department, working there 1989 to 2012.

The county has been without a fire marshal since last April, when Marc Dodd resigned. County Judge Bill McElhaney noted in January that it took 18 months to find Dodd after Paul Cunningham, who was elected Montague County sheriff, left in 2008.

“We’ve been in and out of having a fire marshal since I’ve been here,” said McElhaney.

Early last fall an applicant pool was narrowed to four, but one didn’t pass the background check, two withdrew and the two firefighters on the search committee “weren’t comfortable,” with the lone remaining candidate, according to Hudson.

In October, commissioners decided to re-start the search from scratch. Ten people applied, and Beard was chosen from four finalists.

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