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Nueces County fire marshal resigns

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Posted at 5:51 PM, May 20, 2022
and last updated 2022-05-20 18:51:02-04

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — Nueces County Fire Marshal Jose Olivares submitted a letter of resignation Friday, 10 days after 6 Investigates broke the story that he lacks the certifications required in the job description.

His resignation is effective Tuesday.

In the letter, Olivares wrote that when he was hired, he was eager to serve the community and felt he was ready to do so. However, said COVID-19 dampened that excitement.

"What I did not expect was to come into a global pandemic that required my role as a fire marshal to be halted, and (to) serve the needs of other Nueces County departments as well as our community, " Olivares said. "As a natural public servant, I was ready to serve in whatever capacity was needed. In turn, this has now created friction and has brought up questions of my integrity."

The fire marshal's job was a new position created by the Nueces County Commissioner's Court in 2019. Olivares was hired by county judge Barbara Canales in November 2020.

There were four other applicants for the position. Those applicants, such as Olivares, did not have any fire training or experience.

He was given six months to obtain several fire certifications, according to the job description. A year-and-a-half later, as KRIS 6 News previously reported, he has obtained no certifications.

In the resignation letter, he states the pandemic impacted his certification, and that his role as a fire marshal took a back seat.

"I worked on several different assignments throughout the pandemic, which developed a delay in my certification process," Olivares wrote. "As the rest of the world tried to work through closures and exceptions, I had to work through no classes available, which delayed my certification process."

However, 6 Investigates has learned through multiple sources that in addition to classes offered at Houston Community College, a local fire department also offered Olivares training, which he declined.

In the letter, Olivares writes, "it has become evident that me nor my services are needed, respected, or appreciated by certain individuals of this Court."

This is a developing story, check back with KRIS 6 News for updates.

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