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It's Official: Fort Worth Chief Fitzgerald is Headed to Baltimore

Fitzgerald's departure date has not been revealed

After someone let the cat out of the bag last month, it looks like it's finally official -- Fort Worth Chief of Police Joel Fitzgerald is headed to Baltimore, according to a city official.

In a statement, the city of Fort Worth said the city manager has been notified Fitzgerald is the final candidate for the police commissioner's job in Baltimore and that he's in discussions with them, but that at this time he has not submitted a formal letter of resignation.

Meanwhile, WBAL-TV, the NBC affiliate in Baltimore, reported Mayor Catherine Pugh confirmed Fitzgerald was the city's next police commissioner.

NBC 5 has also learned Assistant Chief Ed Kraus will serve as the interim chief in Fort Worth until a permanent replacement has been found.

Media reports announcing Fitzgerald's departure were first reported Oct. 19, though soon after officials in both Baltimore and the Fort Worth Police Department distanced themselves from those remarks.

Pugh, via The Baltimore Sun, said last month she was still vetting candidates while the Fort Worth Police Department said the chief had not accepted any job offer.

Fitzgerald joined the Fort Worth Police Department as chief in October 2015. He is a member of the Major Cities Chief's Association and International Association of Chiefs of Police.

Before arriving in Fort Worth, Fitzgerald was chief in Allentown, Pennsylvania in 2013 and chief in Missouri City, Texas in 2009. He started at the Philadelphia Police Department.

In September, Fitzgerald led the department while they dealt with the loss of fallen officer Garrett Hull. Hull was the only officer to die in the line of duty during Fitzgerald's time with the department.

Fort Worth Mayor Betsy Price told NBC 5 that morning that Fitzgerald was leaving, saying "It appears he has taken the police chief spot in Baltimore. He's done a good job in Fort Worth and I wish him the best in this new position." Later in the day her office clarified her statement that she has not received a letter of resignation from the chief but that she gave an "appropriate response" to NBC 5's question about his future.

Check back for updates on this developing story. NBC 5's Scott Gordon and Frank Heinz contributed to this report.

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