City Fire Department probes complaints of misconduct

March 02, 2006|By GUS G. SENTEMENTES | GUS G. SENTEMENTES,SUN REPORTER

The city Fire Department is conducting an internal investigation into allegations of "inappropriate behavior" in recent days at a Northwest Baltimore station house that might have involved an after-hours female visitor and a party with alcohol and drug use, according to a department spokesman.

Chief Kevin Cartwright said fire officials received an anonymous tip by phone from someone who made the allegations about firefighters at Engine Company 46, in the 5500 block of Reisterstown Road.

Fire officials suspended three men - a captain, a pump operator and a firefighter - without pay, Cartwright said. He declined to release their names.

The department's internal investigation has revealed that none of the men tested positive for alcohol, but one tested positive for drugs, he said.

The woman was an acquaintance of one of the department members, Cartwright said.

"We're held to a higher level of accountability," Cartwright said. "There are rules that every member of our department must adhere to.

"Should these allegations be found to be true, any members involved would suffer disciplinary actions, ranging from suspension to the far extreme of termination."

Cartwright said the investigation will include whether the firefighter who tested positive for drugs had used an illegal substance.

Cartwright said the alleged misconduct occurred within the past three to five days and that the investigation is in its early stages.

"I would not say it's a systemic problem; it's isolated," Cartwright said of the allegations.

gus.sentementes@baltsun.com

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