The officer in charge of the Verona Fire Department has assumed the role of acting fire chief.

Deputy chief of supportive services Dan Machotka assumed the role Jan. 2 upon the official retirement of Joe Giver, who had left the role Sept. 27 on paid leave. The city’s Police and Fire Commission chose Machotka to lead the department Dec. 4 after the group restarted the fire chief hiring process.

The commission began its initial search for Giver’s replacement in August and eventually selected two finalists, Jeffery Pricher and Ralph Webster, both of whom were former fire chiefs. However, the commission rejected the candidates Nov. 12 and restarted the search, with a second round of applications due Dec. 1.

There were 12 new candidates, none of whom were from the previous search, city human resources coordinator Mitch Weckerly wrote in an email to the Press. The commission decided to invite six of these candidates for initial interviews, commission president Delora Newton wrote in an email.

“We are looking at dates in January and are coordinating PFC member schedules to find a date that works best (to interview),” Newton wrote last December.