Mt. Vernon deputy fire chief suspended without pay

Posted: Updated:

The deputy fire chief in Mount Vernon is under investigation for comments he allegedly made in a recording.

Al-Farid Salahuddin has been suspended without pay after an audio recording surfaced of him speaking with using inflammatory language directed at City Council members, other firefighters as well as current and former mayors.

News 12 obtained the almost 32 minute recording where Salahuddin used derogatory language aimed at Assistant Fire Chief Tom Duffy. He also insinuates to members of the Mount Vernon Fire Department to having criminal backgrounds.

Salahuddin also said City Councilmember Janice Duarte may become mayor eventually, and if she does, he says there will be a major change when it comes to race and gender at City Hall.

Sources say that conversation was between Salahuddin and Lieutenant Ervin "Larry" Oakes inside the Mount Vernon firehouse.

Mount Vernon Mayor Andre Wallace told News 12 that he “heard the tape in its entirety and I'm disgusted.”

“The things…said on the tape and said about certain elected officials and others is not going to be tolerated," says the mayor.

It's unclear if Lt. Oakes will face consequences.

News 12 reached out to the fire department for a comment. 

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