Muskogee fire chief suspended over hiring decision

MUSKOGEE, OK. (AP) - The fire chief of Muskogee says he's accepted his three-week suspension after an internal investigation found that he rejected a job applicant four years ago because the candidate was a member of the National Guard.

Derek Tatum says he was "green and unaware" when he made the decision shortly after he was appointed chief in 2007. He says the applicant wasn't hired even though the candidate met all qualifications for the job. He says the person has since been hired by the department.

Tatum apologized for his error and says he will "man up and take my punishment."

The Muskogee Phoenix reports that Tatum has been suspended without pay for three one-week periods during the course of a month.

(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)

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