Former Wilmington fire chief indicted

Former Wilmington Fire Chief Anthony S. Goode (Charlie O'Neill/WHYY)

Former Wilmington Fire Chief Anthony S. Goode (Charlie O'Neill/WHYY)

A grand jury has indicted former Wilmington Fire Chief Anthony Goode on charges of racketeering, theft and unlawful use of a credit card.

Goode, who retired in August, is accused of dishonest and fraudulent business practices while employed by or associated with Gallant Blazers, Inc., the union representing minority firefighters within the department. He served as the union’s president.

The three-page indictment filed in Superior Court of Delaware stated between January 2009 and October 2016, Goode, “did knowingly conduct or participate in the conduct of the affairs of said enterprise through a pattern of racketeering activity.”

During that same time period, the indictment also accused Goode of stealing $50,000 or more from Gallant Blazers and illegally using the group’s credit cards, without authorization, “for the purpose of obtaining money, goods, services, or anything of value.”

So far, there has been no comment from Goode about the indictment.

The 20-year veteran of the department made headlines in the latter part of his career. In 2014, Wilmington City Councilman Mike Brown called for Goode’s termination after he wrote a controversial blog.

In 2016, the Wilmington Fire Fighters’ Association Local 1590 sent a ‘no confidence’ letter to then Mayor Dennis Williams about Goode’s leadership abilities. “The Wilmington Fire Department is broken,” the letter read.

Also that year, five white firefighters filed a complaint with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission alleging reverse discrimination, harrassment and intimidation from Goode, while he was chief. That complaint was settled this past October.

At the beginning of this year, Goode was demoted, but Mayor Mike Purzycki kept him on as a senior firefighter so he could collect an early pension. Many critics said the controversial decision set a bad precedent.

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