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Asst. Chief Jeff Johnson Heads Ladue Fire Department, For Now

Johnson is a 16-year veteran of the department.

Ladue Assistant Fire Chief Jeff Johnson has taken over as head of the department after the departure of Ladue's former chief, Eric Hinson.

and his last day was Friday. Hinson resigned in the wake of an investigation. Hinson had held two chief jobs concurrently — as Ladue fire chief, where he was appointed in July 2011, and as the St. Clair, MO, fire chief, where he had been hired in January 2011.

He resigned from that post on Sept. 28, 2011, according to the St. Clair Missourian.

Johnson, a 16-year-veteran of the Ladue Fire Department, in July 2011. Johnson is also the department fire marshal and is a member of the Metropolitan Fire Marshals Association.

Johnson said he notified he would be running the department about two weeks ago.

Ladue chief administrator Michael Woolridge said the city was still working out what the process would be for finding a replacement for Hinson. The fire chief is appointed by the mayor with the consent of the city council.

"We will be doing a regional search — not just in the St. Louis area," Woolridge said.

Before working for Ladue's department, Johnson was a volunteer firefighter for the Eureka Fire Protection District for three years and a paid firefighter there for four years.

Johnson, 41, referred questions about the process for finding a permanent replacement for Hinson to City Hall. He would not say whether he would be a candidate for the chief's position.

Hinson was chief for slightly more than a year, replacing long-time Chief Ted Jury who retired and took over the reigns of the Brentwood Fire Department.

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