The story over the interim Utica Fire Chief allegedly preying on a young prospective recruit as described by a source to WIBX, is heating up.

On Thursday, Utica Common Councilman Joe Marino called on Mayor Rob Palmieri to step down as Public Safety Commissioner, a position he holds by choice while serving as Mayor, unlike previous administrations which filled the position with an independent person with a law enforcement background.

"With all the issues and liability that has came from the mayor holding dual titles, it is time to bring in a real professional to the role of public safety commissioner," said Marino.  "The men and women of the Police and Fire departments deserve stability and deserve leadership they can rely on.  They are being unfairly characterized in all manners of derogatory ways today, and that is not fair at all.  We have fine individuals protecting our city and if the mayor knew how to handle the few serious incidents properly, these issues we have wouldn't fester and our employees can get back to work safely doing what they were trained to do," he added.

Marino also provided the media with a copy of a letter he sent to the Mayor, asking him to set aside their differences and resign.

Read the letter here: Letter from Marino to Mayor Palmieri

Earlier in the day on the Keeler Show, Councilman Bill Phillips, a Democrat who supports Palmieri, asked the mayor to step down as public safety commissioner, saying it's time to have an independent law enforcement expert in that position in light of the recent story about Utica interim Fire Chief John Kelly being charged with an inappropriate relationship at the fire station by a young prospective recruit."If it's true, he should step down," Phillips told WIBX's Bill Keeler.

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