Newport Fire Chief Paul Uebel crashed car, smelled of alcohol, police report says

Chief retired the same day

NEWPORT, Ky. - On the day he retired last week, Newport Fire Chief Paul Uebel sideswiped a guardrail, hit a parked car next to the firehouse and smelled of alcohol, according to a police report released Monday.

Uebel also drove over the curb three times as he drove from northbound I-471 to fire headquarters at 998 Monmouth St., a witness told police.

While one officer was gathering information for the report, another officer said he detected an odor of alcohol coming from Uebel, the report says.

As WCPO Digital first reported, Uebel was connected to an ongoing police investigation when he retired April 24.

Driving a fire department 2000 Ford Expedition, Uebel struck a guardrail exiting I-471 and hit an unattended parked car while parking next to the firehouse, the report says. At that point, Uebel said he was "mad" and walked directly into the firehouse, the witness said.

The police report said the incident happened about 8:30 a.m. on Wednesday. The witness said he was following Uebel and saw Uebel hit a curb and drive onto the grass while westbound on Carouthers Road. He said Uebel then drove over the curb while turning north onto Monmouth Street. Uebel then turned west onto 10th Street and ran onto the curb again.

Uebel was transported to St. Elizabeth Business Health Center. The police report did not say if Uebel was injured.

The report said "inattention" contributed to the accident.

Uebel confirmed to officers that he had hit a guardrail, the report says. Damage to Uebel's vehicle was listed as minor. There was no damage to the parked car, the report says.

Fire Capt. Randy Childress said Uebel disclosed his decision to retire on Wednesday - the same day as his accident.

The Newport Police Department confirmed to 9 On Your Side Friday that Uebel was part of an ongoing investigation, but did not release any details at that time.

Childress said Capt. Patrick Krogman was named acting fire chief.

Uebel had been with the department for at least 20 years and was eligible for retirement, Childress said.


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