SANTA ANA (AP) — Orange County Fire Chief Keith Richter is retiring amid controversy.

The Orange County Register reported Tuesday that the decision came just weeks after a report on the Fire Authority was released stating that the department had low morale and a sense of favoritism.

According to Richter, he made the decision to retire because recent controversies have made him a distraction.

The 55-year-old had said in previous interviews that he did not have plans of stepping down from his position, despite increasing scrutiny from the board this past year.

In a memo about his decision, Richter says the agency was in financial trouble when he was hired five years ago and says he improved its situation.

(© Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)


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