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Fire Department Captain on Leave After Arrest

By Emily Cassulo
By ecassulo@wbbjtv.com

JACKSON, Tenn. - A Jackson firefighter is off the job after being arrested early Thursday morning.

The firefighter is a 30-year veteran, and pleaded guilty Friday morning to two charges. Both are misdemeanors, but still a surprise given his clean record with the department.

It is an issue the Jackson Fire Department said it does not have to deal with very often.

"It is unusual, and unusual for him," said Fire Chief Max Stewart of the Jackson Fire Department.

Jackson Fire Captain Kevin Cronin was arrested early Thursday morning on charges of public intoxication and disorderly conduct, and has since pleaded guilty.

His colleagues said it is unlike him.

"He was off. He's still a firefighter, and that's why we're doing what we're doing because it does reflect on us as a department, so we must take some action," Chief Stewart said.

Now Cronin is on administrative leave, until he meets with the chief next week.

WBBJ 7 Eyewitness News stopped by Cronin's house for his side of the story.

"It would be best not to comment," Cronin said.

WBBJ 7 Eyewitness News checked with the city's personnel department. Records showed this is the first time in Cronin's entire career that the department has had to take disciplinary action against him.

"There's been some small things, but nothing like this," Stewart said.

Stewart said he is surprised Cronin was arrested. He said he is a great firefighter, and has been with the department for 30 years.

"When we had the floods, he was cited for his actions out south, and just a good firefighter, a dedicated firefighter, and always been proud of him."

Stewart said in the worst case scenario, Cronin will get time off without pay.

The length of any possible suspension for Cronin will be determined during a disciplinary hearing next week.

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