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A La Crosse Fire Department division chief who was charged in March with possession of child pornography will retire in June after more than a month on administrative leave.

Francis Devine mug

Devine

Francis Devine, 52, the department’s division chief of training, notified the city of La Crosse this week that he intends to leave the department June 22 and his decision was accepted by La Crosse Fire Chief Ken Gilliam.

“The city of La Crosse Fire Department holds all of our members to high standards as role models for the community and stewards of public trust,” Gilliam said in a statement. “The department does not takes these responsibilities lightly, and we will continue to expect only the highest professional conduct from our members consistent with our mission and values.”

He added that the department does not wish to interfere with the criminal justice system and will not issue any further statements about Devine.

Devine was charged March 20 with possession of child pornography in La Crosse County Circuit Court and placed on administrative leave.

A Wisconsin Department of Justice investigator received a cyber-tip March 17 from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, according to the complaint. Investigators traced Devine through his IP address and discovered four pictures of naked children and another of a child whose age is unknown.

There was no evidence that Devine viewed child pornography on his cell phone or while at work, according to the complaint.

Devine is free on a $5,000 signature bond and will be back in court May 8.


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Jourdan Vian can be reached at jvian@lacrossetribune.com or follow her on Twitter at @Jourdan_LCT.

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City government reporter

Jourdan Vian is a reporter and columnist covering local government and city issues for the La Crosse Tribune. You can contact her at 608-791-8218.

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