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But the victim's mother isn't buying it.
"As fire chief, this man interacts with children," she told the Journal. "If you were in an accident, would you want this man working on your child?"
Spartansburg Mayor Ann Louise Wagner said she and members of the fire department have known about Gilbert's status as a registered sex offender. She added that she supports their decision to re-elect him as chief.
"I don't know why she won't drop this," Wagner said of the victim's mother.