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Jan 16, 6:46 AM EST

Fire chief rescinds resignation, says he was 'coerced'


WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. (AP) -- A Florida fire chief who announced his departure after allegations of sexual harassment in his department is now rescinding his resignation.

Palm Beach County Fire Rescue Chief Jeff Collins announced his departure on Friday. On Monday, his attorney Salim Punjani said in an email to Palm Beach County's administrator that the chief felt "coerced, forced, placed under duress, and intimidated" into stepping down.

Punjani's email claims Collins was coerced into resigning during a meeting with County Administrator Verdenia Baker without being allowed time to speak to an attorney. The Sun Sentinel reports the letter is being reviewed by the county attorney's office.

News outlets reported that two employees have filed lawsuits accusing administrators in the fire department of failing to protect employees from harassment.

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Information from: Sun Sentinel , http://www.sun-sentinel.com/

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