After four years as Howard County fire chief, John Butler is leaving to take over command of the Fairfax County, Va., fire and rescue service.
Brad Tanner, a county fire department spokesman, confirmed Wednesday afternoon that Butler is leaving.
Butler became the county’s fire chief in January 2015, after being named acting fire chief in December 2014 following Bill Goddard's resignation.
Butler, a graduate of Oakland Mills High School, began his career with the county’s fire department in 1993 as a firefighter paramedic and over the years moved up in the ranks.
County spokesman Paul Milton said the county’s executive office will release a statement later this afternoon.
The Fairfax department, four times the size of Howard County’s, has been under investigation following complaints of sexual harassment by some rank-and-file members.
This story is developing and will be updated.