TULSA, Oklahoma - Tulsa's fire chief will be stepping down, ending a 37 year career with the department.

Tulsa Mayor Dewey Bartlett announced Monday that Chief Allen LaCroix will officially retire on June 30, 2012.

LaCroix started with the Tulsa Fire Department in 1975 as a firefighter then quickly moved up the ranks. He took the fire chief job in 2002

LaCroix, along Mayor Bartlett's former Chief of Staff Terry Simonson, was suspended last September after the fire department's hiring practice came in to question.

He was accused of getting Simonson's son a slot on the  fire department applicant pool after all the slots were full. LaCroix was reprimanded but reinstated. Simonson resigned shortly after the scandal.

Bartlett praised LaCroix as the city faced difficult decisions over the past decade.

"Chief Allen LaCroix has been an outstanding public servant and has seen this city through many historic events, including the 2007 ice storm, last year's record blizzards and the economic downturn when I first took office," Bartlett said.

LaCroix has won numerous awards over his long career. He currently serves as an evaluator for the International Association of Fire Chiefs for major disasters.