3 lose jobs over sexual misconduct Annapolis fire, police workers disciplined

November 02, 1991|By Gary Gately

ANNAPOLIS -- Three members of the Annapolis Fire Department were fired and four other city public safety workers were disciplined as a result of an 11-week city probe into allegations of sexual misconduct on duty.

Announcing the actions yesterday, Mayor Alfred A. Hopkins said the investigation found four Fire Department employees and two police officers had "engaged in sexual relations" with "consenting females" while on duty.

A seventh city employee, a Fire Department supervisor, was disciplined because he knew of the sexual misconduct but took no action, the mayor said.

Mr. Hopkins, reading from a 2 1/2 -page statement at City Hall, refused to identify any of the seven employees, all men, saying their unions had threatened to sue if the city revealed their names.

All the incidents involved the same women and occurred in "fire facilities" or in "public safety vehicles," he said.

He said the alleged misconduct in the Fire Department dated to 1985, while the incidents involving po- lice occurred as recently as this year.

The three members of the Fire Department who were fired were placed on paid suspension for an unspecified appeals period, Mr. Hopkins said.

Two other members of the Fire Department have been suspended for 30 days without pay and demoted for six months.

Both police officers disciplined were suspended for 30 days without pay, and one also was demoted for six months. Both officers have waived their right to departmental appeal, Mr. Hopkins said.

He said city officials took into account each employee's tenure, performance and disciplinary records and willingness to cooperate in the investigation when deciding disciplinary action.

The investigation, led by internal affairs officers in the police and fire departments, "demonstrates clearly the city's ability to police itself . . . and it proves that we take these matters seriously," the mayor said.

Mr. Hopkins, Police Chief Harold Robbins, Fire Chief Edward P. Sherlock Jr. and other city officials refused to answer reporters' questions.

City Alderman Carl O. Snowden, D-Ward 5, criticized the administration's handling of the probe, saying the "staged press conference left the public in the dark."

"This is the worst sex scandal in the history of . . . Annapolis, and . . . we don't know whether this has ended the sex scandal or is just the tip of an iceberg of worse things to come," he said.

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