The Utica Fire Department has a new Temporary Chief.

Mayor Robert Palmieri has appointed retired Captain James Barefoot to the position, effective July 2nd.

Barefoot served as a member of the Utica Fire Department for 32 years before retiring in 2012.

The mayor says he made the decision to appoint a Temporary Chief after consulting with UFD personnel and members of the Common Council.

“Captain Barefoot is an exceptional fire fighter, leader and role model that members of the Utica Fire Department look up to. The City of Utica is fortunate to have a great public servant like Captain Barefoot serve in this capacity, and I am confident he will do an excellent job bringing leadership to the Utica Fire Department,” said Palmieri.

John Kelly stepped down as Temporary Chief following allegations of sexual misconduct involving a prospective recruit.

Kelly was named Temporary Chief when Chief Russell Brooks was placed on administrative leave last May.