Duluth Fire Chief Dennis Edwards Jr. has been placed on administrative leave, following his arrest late Saturday night on suspicion of third-degree driving while impaired, according to St. Louis County records. He was released from jail around 3 a.m. Sunday. Formal charges have not yet been filed.
Noah Schuchman, Duluth’s chief administrative officer, did not take calls but issued the following brief statement: “I am aware of an incident involving Chief Edwards. The city of Duluth takes these things very seriously.
“Effective Sunday, March 31st, Chief Edwards was placed on administrative leave pending an investigation. Deputy Chief Shawn Krizaj will serve as acting chief until further notice. Because this is a personnel matter, the city of Duluth will have no further comments at this time.”
However Phil Jents, Duluth’s communications and policy officer, confirmed the investigation is related to Edwards’ incident over the weekend, after the News Tribune learned of the drunken driving arrest.
Edwards could not be reached for comment Monday afternoon.
Edwards, age 48, was promoted to his post as fire chief in May 2016, after 20 years of service as a Duluth firefighter.
He succeeded Bryan Bushey in the position.