Taylor fired as chief state fire marshal over ‘political fight’

State Insurance Commissioner Mike Causey fired top staff in the Office of State Fire Marshal on Tuesday, including a Stanly County resident, as Causey and the General Assembly dispute “over whether the office should be an independent agency led by someone with firefighting experience,” according to the News & Observer of Raleigh.

Brian Taylor, who was appointed by Causey in 2018 to lead the office as chief state fire marshal, confirmed with the N&O three dismissals. He later confirmed with The Stanly News & Press his firing.

“I was let go today by Commissioner Causey…pending the governor signing SB409, which will make me the new state fire marshal until the General Assembly confirms me for a 3-year term,” Taylor told the SNAP.

“Until recently, the state insurance commissioner carried the title of state fire marshal,” the N&O reported. “It had been that way since the late 1940s, until state lawmakers passed legislation this session creating an independent agency. Republicans dominate the legislature, and Causey is a Republican.”

“This is really a political fight between the commissioner and the legislature,” Taylor said told the N&O, “so I would basically call it a family feud or family fight and the Office of State Fire Marshal is caught up in the middle of it.”

Before going to his state position, Taylor had held positions of a volunteer firefighter, fire marshal and investigator with the City of Albemarle.