Firefighters’ union president: Members claim SAFD leadership has ‘management mafia’ culture

‘The city is aware of these allegations,’ SAPFFA President Joe Jones says

San Antonio – The San Antonio Professional Firefighters Association president said his conversations with city staff indicate ongoing investigations into the culture inside the San Antonio Fire Department administration.

SAPFFA President Joe Jones said there’s no politics behind his outspoken efforts to bring other issues to light after the forced retirement of former Fire Chief Charles Hood.

“You put facts out there, they defend themselves. These claims –– everything that I’ve said comes straight from members,” Jones said.

He said members claim they’ve suffered degradation over several years from what they call the “Management Mafia” at the head of the SAFD administration.

“Bullying, targeting, retaliation, you know, oppression –– stuff like that, that’s disturbing. It’s almost surreal. Like, you think to yourself, ‘Certainly, this can’t happen in my community, definitely not my fire department. It’s the fire department, after all,” Jones said. “We have allegations from members that they have been surveilled, they have been followed. They place specific officers at their homes. That is, it’s surreal. This is a fire department. That is not just unprofessional, it’s unnecessary. I mean, that is bullying, intimidation.”

The comments come two weeks after Hood was forced to retire when an internal investigation found he used vulgar and offensive language. Jones said exit interviews they have been conducting have led to numerous complaints by members.

Jones said he believes leadership is aware of the allegations based off his conversation with city officials.

“It was acknowledged during all three meetings, as it’s been related to me, that the city is aware of these allegations,” Jones said.

He thinks there may be the possibility of more shakeups at SAFD leadership.

A spokesperson for the City of San Antonio said the city is not investigating the culture at SAFD and the probe into Hood is now closed.

Follow-up questions about the department’s so-called “Management Mafia” have not been answered.

KSAT also reached out to Hood about the allegations, and we have not heard back.

Jones has his own history with Hood. In 2017, Jones was demoted as part of allegations of intimidation and hazing of cadets.


SAFD fire chief steps down over ‘inappropriate and offensive comments’

About the Authors

Patty Santos joined the KSAT 12 News team in July 2017. She has a proven track record of reporting on hard-hitting news that affects the community.

Luis Cienfuegos is a photographer at KSAT 12.

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