Veteran Palm Beach County firefighter, Ronald Beesley defended himself to the Contact 5 Investigators a little more than one week ago when he said, "I am not hauling the boat there, no. I do not haul my boat with my fire department truck."
The exclusive sit down interview was the result of two photos that surfaced and questioned whether the former second-in-command Deputy Chief used his county owned fire truck for personal use.
"I positioned the boat on the truck so that no one can steal my boat," he explained.
One day before the interview, Beesley voluntarily demoted himself to a middle ranked Battalion Chief. It was a move, he explained, as nothing more than a personal family decision.
"At some point, I came to the realization that my wife has been trying to beat into my head for 30 years that there's more to work, more to life than work."
Beesley served with Palm Beach County Fire Rescue for more than 3 decades. He started as a firefighter and moved up the ranks, eventually landing Deputy Chief of Operations where he managed the delivery of fire and EMS services countywide.
But recently, Beesley says, he started to become a victim and the boat photos, he says, were just one more attack.
"It's very disheartening that after 30 years of service with Palm Beach County Fire Rescue, to have someone take a picture like this and attempt one in a series of character assassinations on me that have been going on for over 2 years."
Beesley would not say whether those attacks are part of his decision to retire. Instead, when asked why he was retiring, he responded, "After 30 years, it's time to go. It's time for a new chapter."
Battalion Chief Beesley will officially retire from PBC fire rescue on February 28th. For the past week, he has been on sick leave and has not determined whether he will return to work prior to his retirement.
Here is Chief's Official statement concerning the Retirement of Deputy Chief Ronald Beesley:
"Chief Ron Beesley submitted, and I have accepted, a letter advising of his decision to retire from Palm Beach County Fire Rescue. Chief Beesley has proudly served the citizens of Palm Beach County for nearly 30 years. During that time he has served in positions of increasing responsibility, most recently as Deputy Chief of Operations. In that position he has been responsible for overseeing the largest section of the department, that which delivers the fire and rescue emergency services to the 800,000 + citizens we serve.I wish to thank Chief Beesley for his commitment to this department, and personally wish him all the best as he starts this next chapter of his life."