Fire chief resigns after just 11 days saying she had ‘no understanding of the role’
A fire chief has resigned within days of being appointed after doubts were raised over her ‘understanding’ and relationship with the commissioner.
Nicci Marzec became interim boss at Northamptonshire Fire and Rescue on July 7, but stood down after her ‘friendship’ with Commissioner Stephen Mold had ‘become the story’.
Incumbent Mark Jones resigned to focus on recovering from an injury.
The Fire Brigades Union called Ms Marzec’s appointment ‘highly unusual’ as she had ‘no operational understanding of the role’.
She told BBC Radio last week: ‘I actually don’t see that as something which prevents me from giving strategic leadership and direction to the service.’
But Mr Mold has said rumours about their friendship has meant neither of them can continue in their current jobs.
He said: ‘My friendship with Nicci Marzec, who is a long-standing colleague, has become the story and that must not damage the reputation of these organisations I work so hard to promote and improve.’
In a statement, his office said: ‘Stephen Mold and Nicci Marzec are long-standing work colleagues and personal friends.
‘They have been open about their friendship and have never denied it to be the case. They have reiterated that they are not in a relationship.’
Mr Mold added he understood he acted too quickly to replace Mr Jones before the British Grand Prix, which was held at Silverstone race track on July 9.
Although he claims he took legal advice before making the appointment, Mr Mold also admitted he did not engage with the police, fire and crime panel as he should have.
He said: ‘With hindsight, I accept this has created a level of speculation and criticism that I had not expected and is not helpful to the service.
‘In agreeing to take this temporary role, Nicci Marzec genuinely had the best interests of the service as her priority and has already found some key areas for immediate improvement.
‘However, in the best interests of the people of the fire and rescue service who serve this county, she has decided to step back from both her acting role in the fire service and her responsibilities as monitoring officer.’
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