- The Washington Times - Monday, October 7, 2002

D.C. Mayor Anthony A. Williams has authorized interim Fire Chief Adrian Thompson to make permanent, command-level promotions a sign that Chief Thompson will be named as the permanent head of the Fire and Emergency Medical Services Department.
The promotions, which become effective Oct. 15, include filling the assistant chief of operations post the department's No. 2 job, which Chief Thompson held before he was named as the interim fire chief on June 27.
A 32-year fire department veteran, Chief Thompson, 53, would have to take a lower-profile job, fill a post that has yet to be created, or retire if someone else is named as the permanent fire chief.
Mr. Williams said last week that he expects to name a new fire chief "very soon." Margret Nedelkoff Kellems, deputy mayor for public safety and justice, said city officials "have not made a final decision" on a new chief, but they are "trying to bring this to closure as quickly as possible."
Meanwhile, the Oldani Group, an executive-search firm based in Bellevue, Wash., has removed its posting about the D.C. fire chief job from its Web site (www.theoldanigroup.com).
"They've done the background work and submitted their finalists," Williams spokesman Tony Bullock said of the firm's nationwide search for applicants for the fire chief position.
Oldani Group President Jerry Oldani told The Washington Times the search is "on hold" until his firm receives further instructions from D.C. officials.
Mr. Oldani said his company removed the Web posting because it had no information to offer would-be applicants.
But in a previous e-mail response to an inquiry about the removal of the job announcement, the Oldani Group had said D.C. officials are "handling this search internally."
Mr. Williams said in July he had hired the Oldani Group because of its experience in public safety. The firm is contracted to conduct four executive searches for the city, including one for corporation counsel.
The Internet posting for the corporation counsel search remains on the firm's Web site.
The mayor and Mrs. Kellems have praised Chief Thompson for his work as interim chief, and Mr. Williams and several D.C. Council members have publicly expressed hope that the next chief would emerge from within the department.
A native Washingtonian, Chief Thompson worked his way up through the ranks and was appointed operations chief in April 2001 under Mr. Few.
Mr. Few resigned after The Times reported inaccuracies in the resumes of his three senior appointees and long-standing training, equipment and performance problems in the department. His last day on the job was July 31.
Chief Thompson declined a request to discuss his job status.
Knowledgeable sources in the fire department say he could be nominated in the next few weeks. His nomination would have to be approved by a majority vote of the D.C. Council.


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