For weeks, WDEL has been asking who will man the helm as the new fire marshal of the City of Wilmington, but the city's responded it's a "personnel issue."
Tuesday, August 20, 2019, the city announced 20-year Wilmington Fire Department veteran Gabriel M. Pabon Jr. will take over for James Jobes, who retired after being charged with driving under the influence in Maryland.
Pabon, a former U.S. Marine, became a firefighter in 1999 after graduating from the academy, according to the city. He rose to the rank of lieutenant in 2011 and became a captain in June of this year. He most recently served as deputy chief for fire prevention. He's also a certified law enforcement officer, as required of all city fire investigators.
"During a highly decorated career with the department that has spanned more than two decades, Gabe has accumulated a wealth of experience, including having served in the Fire Prevention Division as a fire instructor, plans examiner, and inspector/investigator--that makes him eminently qualified to carry out the office’s mission, namely enforcing fire safety codes and standards, conducting public education, and investigating the cause and origin of fires occurring within the city of Wilmington," said Mayor Mike Purzycki in a statement.
Pabon lives in Bayard Square with his family and also serves as president of the Bayard Square Neighborhood Association.
He'll make an annual salary of $102,513.
A high-ranking official in the Wilmington Fire Department was charged with driving under the…
WDEL first reported Jobes, 53, was charged with DUI on July 3, 2019, after officers pulled him over for speeding along northbound 301 in Queen Anne's County. Court records obtained by WDEL show he was "so far impaired by alcohol [he] cannot drive safely."
He was also cited for recklessly driving a vehicle in "wanton and willful disregard for safety of persons and property," as well as failure to obey properly placed traffic control device instructions.
The fines total $690; he's due back in court on September 5, 2019. Jobes had no comment and hung up when reached by WDEL.