"Hard Copy" is probing around Annapolis, trying to get to the bottomof the city police and fire departments sex scandal.
Lori Desena,segment producer for the sensational syndicated television news magazine, said she's been calling around trying to "figure out what really happened" and who was involved. The scandal resulted in four suspensions and three firings in the police and fire departments last month.
Desena said a free-lance camera crew would be in Annapolis later this week, to look for leads or get interviews with the people involved in the scandal.
She said the show "sometimes"pays for interviews. "But usually we try not to, for ethical reasons," she said.
"Hard Copy" recently received notoriety after a camera-carrying intruderwas discovered inside the Kennedy family's West Palm Beach estate. After the incident, a free-lance cameraman said he had been cited for trespassing and was working for "Hard Copy."
Desena, who works in New York, said she discovered the Annapolis story by conducting a Nexis computer data base search of all recent newspaper clippings and byplugging in "certain key words." She did not say which key words sheused to discover the scandal.
So far, she said, her inquiries have led to dead-end discussions with the attorneys and union officials representing the officers.
Only sketchy details have been releasedby Mayor Alfred Hopkins about the nature of the sexual misconduct. Two police officers and two firefighters were suspended for 30 days; termination notices have been sent to three other firemen -- includinga battalion chief who city officials say had been aware of but not involved in the misconduct.
Both the police officers involved had been decorated for heroism. Two of the firemen are appealing their terminations.
The first allegations that public safety officers were involved in a series of incidents dating to 1985 came from a "a non-city employee," Hopkins said two weeks ago in his only public statement on the matter.
A three-month internal investigation showed that the sexual misconduct took place in fire facilities and in public safety vehicles. It involved the same "three or fewer" women, said city attorney Jonathan Hodgson.
Police Cpl. Jim Duran, the shop stewardfor the United Food and Commercial Workers Local 400, said all the officers involved are married and details of the scandal are being kept private to protect their families.
"Hard Copy" is carried by Baltimore TV station WBAL.