San Antonio officials recently appointed an interim fire chief and interim deputy fire chief, while Bexar County officials have selected a new county engineer/public works director.

The background

City Manager Erik Walsh on Jan. 11 announced the appointment of Christopher Monestier to interim fire chief and Valerie Frausto to interim deputy fire chief over administrative services, effective Jan. 12.

Monestier temporarily replaced Charles Hood who resigned after city officials revealed the results of an internal investigation of claims Hood used inappropriate language with colleagues on the job.

According to a news release, Monestier has been with the San Antonio Fire Department for more than 30 years. He had been serving as deputy fire chief over administrative services since February 2020. He also has been a division chief, assistant chief and fire marshal.

Frausto has been with the SAFD for 23 years in several capacities, including chief of communications, and assistant chief over employee wellness and recruitment. She most recently also served as the city’s fire marshal.

City officials said they expect to post the permanent fire chief’s position on the city’s website by the end of February.

Separately, Bexar County commissioners on Jan. 9 tapped Art Reinhardt as the finalist for the county engineer/public works director. Reinhardt will succeed Renee Green, who retired in May 2023 after 20-plus years of service to the county’s public works department. David Wegmann had been serving as interim public works director.

County leaders said Reinhardt's years of work in the private and public sectors, including the city of San Antonio, prompted them to make him the county’s next engineer/public works head. Next steps include a formal offer by the county, including salary considerations and a start date, a news release states.

What they’re saying

Regarding the SAFD promotions, Walsh said Monestier and Frausto have each demonstrated departmental leadership over the years.

“Chris and Valerie, along with the fire department command staff, will provide excellent leadership to the department. Each of them is fully dedicated to leading the SAFD and the critical services we provide each day. They are a completely capable team with many years of experience,” Walsh said in a statement.