The Spartansburg Fire Chief has officially resigned, after his criminal past has been brought to light.

Roger Gilbert Jr. tells Erie News Now that he is stepping down, effective immediately.

After receiving backlash and death threats, Gilbert said he decided to resign.

At 43-years-old, Gilbert was recently re-elected chief, for the town of about 300 residents.

But back in 2001, Gilbert was convicted for sex crimes against a four-year-old girl, and sentenced five to 10 years in prison.

Gilbert is now a registered sex offender in the state's Megan Law database.

Spartansburg Mayor Ann Louise Wagner told the Corry Journal, who first reported the story, that the town's firefighters are aware of Gilbert's status.

Erie News Now stopped by the Spartansburg Borough Building and the fire department for answers.  After being met with locked doors at both locations, we went directly to Gilbert's home.  We were invited in, but with no camera.

 "I'm done with the fire department, altogether, said Gilbert.  "It was nearly 20 years ago, and I've paid my debt to society."

"I've changed my life for the better," said Gilbert.  I shouldn't be punished for the rest of my life."

Gilbert says he's been with the department for 25 years, and questions why it is such a big deal, right now.

Residents, like Jeff Fisher, say they still support Gilbert.

"Everybody I know seems to understand, he was the best guy for the job, said Fisher.  What you've done in you past, Ive done bad things, and everyone has done something wrong, but if you paid your debt, you paid it."