Partridge Ethics Probe

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Meridian Fire Chief Bunky Partridge is under fore for alleged ethics violations regarding his work for the three I public safety training facility near Meridian.

The State Attorney General's office is reviewing charges that Meridian Fire Chief Bunky Partridge violated state ethics laws for work he did and pay he was given in setting up the Three I Public Safety Regional Emergency Training Center in Meridian. Today Mayor John Robert Smith indicated he supports Partridge.

"I don't believe there was anything unethical done by the fire chief," said Mayor John Robert Smith, who appoints the fire chief. "The attorney general's office will finish their work and we'll deal with the results at that time."

In February 2002 Partridge was considered for a raise as fire chief. That was challenged because of the work he was doing in setting up the Three I facility.

"Well, I had sat down with the mayor and we initially talked about an increase because of my additional duties," said Chief Partridge in February 2002. "And we knew they were going to be temporary until the Three I Corporation could receive some grant money and I could work out a consultant with Three I."

Contacted Thursday, Partridge told NewsCenter 11 the consultancy was the only reason he was paid by Three I, for his work in creating the training center.