ATLANTA — The mayor of Atlanta fired its fire chief today after he published a controversial book.
WSBtv reported that Atlanta Fire Rescue Department Chief Kelvin Cochran was suspended in November after publishing a faith-based book. In the book, Cochran identifies himself as Atlanta’s fire chief and says his first priority is to run the department "to cultivate its culture to the glory of God."
He also wrote about his critical views of homosexuality, at one point equating it to bestiality, according to the report.
City officials said Cochran violated city policy by publishing a book without permission.
Mayor Kasim Reed said Cochran continued to speak out during his suspension and put the city on shaky legal ground. Today was Chief Cochran's first day back at work following the suspension.
Several members of the Christian community have come out in support of Chief Cochran. Among those was the Georgia Baptist Convention that circulated a petition demanding Reed apologize to Chief Cochran, give him back pay and "acknowledge his First Amendment rights," the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports.
Chief Cochran served as the U.S. Fire Administrator in the Obama administration for nine months between 2009 and 2010. He is also the former fire chief of Shreveport, La.