1. #1
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    Post Follow up to "Florida Firefighers Accused"

    Here is the link to a follow up story relating to the story on the home page of Firehouse.com on Friday. It relates to the 3 Florida Firefighters who were accused committing inappropriate acts at the Florida IAFF Convention.

    http://www.sptimes.com/2002/08/17/He..._defends.shtml

    http://www.sptimes.com/2002/08/17/He...als_kne.shtml#
    ------------------------------------
    Cut and pasted letters to the Editor relating to this thread:
    Letters to the Editors


    Editor: Re: Woman accuses 3 firefighters of rape, Aug. 16 Times:

    I am disgusted by the way the allegations are being handled about the woman who accuses the three Spring Hill Fire Rescue District firefighters of rape. Whether or not the police have been able to prove the allegations up until this point is irrelevant. The allegations should be investigated thoroughly and without bias, which I don't feel has been the case. The detective has stated that it is "basically a he-said, she-said and that it was up to the prosecutors to make the final call.

    How can these men call the woman a liar when they fully admit to having what they call consensual sex with her? Just the fact that all these men had said the same thing (that this woman allegedly had a thing for firefighters) should have been enough to set off an alarm and maybe have them stop and think that being intimate with this woman was wrong. How could they not think that what they were doing was anything but taking advantage of this woman, whether or not it was rape. This alone is grounds for suspension.

    Chief J.J. Morrison admitted there is a clause in the policy manual stating that firefighters should be suspended for "immoral or improper conduct or indecency, on or off the job, which would tend to affect employees' relationship to the job, another employee's reputation, trust or goodwill in the community." Can this be spelled out any clearer? These men admitted to being intimate with this woman at a firefighters convention. And some of us feel it was immoral or improper and does affect their trustworthiness in the community. They are Spring Hill firefighters and their actions have affected this community.

    It seems to be that it matters whom you support in the County Commission race, especially for these three firefighters. One of the men, Lt. John Ferriero, had the union he leads throw support behind candidate Robert Kanner for County Commission. And one of the other accused men is Edward Falk, the vice president of the union. I would hope that everyone in our community takes notice of this and remembers how Mr. Kanner has reacted to this situation. Not with an open mind and a willingness to find out the truth and take proper actions, but with an immature, condescending attitude.

    I don't think we would want Mr. Kanner making comments to the papers such as this immature one: "I mean what was she doing in the hotel with all those firefighters?" Maybe Kanner should ask himself what were the firefighters doing in that hotel with the alleged victim?
    -- Samantha Williams, Spring Hill

    Statement would have been irresponsible
    Editor: Re: Woman accuses 3 firefighters of rape, Aug. 16 Times:

    I wish to take the opportunity to clarify my recent statement to your reporter (in the) story about the investigation of three firefighters.

    The story states that I personally doubted the credibility of the complainant. My intent was to refer to the opinion of the investigating detective, not my own personal opinion. When asked the detective if there was cause for the Spring Hill Fire Rescue District commission to act, he advised me to do nothing because he had concerns about the credibility of the complaint due to what he referred to as "inconsistencies." His statements were reported in the same story.

    My intent was to explain why, as a commissioner, I stayed silent publicly. It was at the advice of Detective Smith. Because there were no criminal charges, it was left to Chief J.J. Morrison to deal with administratively. Naturally, I could never share this privately with fellow commissioners without violating the Sunshine Law. To make a public statement in the middle of an investigation -- when advised against it by the investigating officer -- would have been totally irresponsible.
    -- Robert Kanner, Spring Hill
    Last edited by captstanm1; 08-18-2002 at 09:21 AM.
    09-11 .. 343 "All Gave Some..Some Gave ALL" God Bless..R.I.P.
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    The comments, opinions, and positions expressed here are mine. They are expressed respectfully, in the spirit of safety and progress. They do not reflect the opinions or positions of my employer or my department.

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    It has been proven in the past and is still worth rembering--you can stay out of some"embarrassing"situations by keeping your pants Zipped

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    We will remind users these are only accusations and no one has been charged in this case. Comments like the last and that were in the thread before are not appopriate.

    Thanks
    WebTeam

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    WEBTEAM.... I am not certain what comments in the "thread before" youa re referring to. I did not make the comments...rather I posted "letters to the editor" that related to the story.

    I am in agreement with you though... There have been no charges and the purpose of this post was not to point fingers, rather be informational as to what is happening around the country.
    09-11 .. 343 "All Gave Some..Some Gave ALL" God Bless..R.I.P.
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    Our comments were not directed at the post, but the reply about 'keeping pants zipped'

    WebTeam

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    Default zipped

    Webteam having spent time in the USAF and been around awhile, There's an old statement whether you've been in the tail hook club,around the corner,or anywhere else (and you are a man) I thought it was a good reminder.I did not mean to infer that they were in any way guilty ,they did have sex according to the article. SORRY to have OFFENDED you by my statement.

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    Captstanm1

    Thank you for posting the information. I was actually going to ask the WT if it could be reposted after the previous thread was removed.

    Personally I think it is completely reprehensible that these men's names, ranks and IAFF affiliation has been released to the public, while her name is being witheld due to the 'nature of the allegation'. If there is a publication ban placed on an investigation, then it should apply to all parties concerned. I understand it in cases which involve juvenielle's, but that is not the case here.

    These men's lives have been permanently tarnished regardless of the outcome of the investigation.

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    Temptaker...I agree...I think the release of the names of the individuals, male or female, during the investigation is premature and inappropriate. Regardless of what may have happened, nothing has been proven and no charges placed at this time.
    09-11 .. 343 "All Gave Some..Some Gave ALL" God Bless..R.I.P.
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    The comments, opinions, and positions expressed here are mine. They are expressed respectfully, in the spirit of safety and progress. They do not reflect the opinions or positions of my employer or my department.

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    Does anyone know if the City released the names and affiliation or the Press using the evil little tool called the "Freedom of information act" which they use and abuse a little too much?????
    I.A.C.O.J IRISH TATTOOED-HOOLIGAN

    DETROIT FIRE FIGHTER AND PROUD!

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    Motown

    From the original article It appears that it was a FD Chief that released the information to the press, just before the police report was to be released.

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    AFter much hoopla (did I make up that word??) and media attention as well as what "appears" to be political involvement, the three firefighters were suspended with pay pending the outcome of the investigation of the allegations. Additionally, there seems to be talk of a pending Internal Affairs Investigation that will be conducted by a private 3rd party. The scandal emerges as a current Fire Commission Member runs for County Commission and on the brink of a referendum that will give the Fire and Rescue District it's autonomy if approved in November.

    These are related links.

    http://www.sptimes.com/2002/08/20/He...hters_su.shtml

    http://www.hernandotoday.com/MGAVSE1Z25D.html

    http://www.hernandotoday.com/MGATJY2Z25D.html

    http://www.hernandotoday.com/MGA9SW9YZ4D.html

    There was an additional story in the St. Petersburg Times today, where one of the County Commissioners called for the dismissal of the Fire Commissioner who made "inappropriate" comments relating to the charges. This Commissioner had been appointed by the County Commissioners to fill a seat vacated by a recent resignation. I can not find a link to that story....sorry
    09-11 .. 343 "All Gave Some..Some Gave ALL" God Bless..R.I.P.
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    The comments, opinions, and positions expressed here are mine. They are expressed respectfully, in the spirit of safety and progress. They do not reflect the opinions or positions of my employer or my department.

  12. #12
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    Post UPDATE

    The alleged victim speaks out in support of the Fire Dept.

    http://www.hernandotoday.com/MGAI1QQD45D.html
    09-11 .. 343 "All Gave Some..Some Gave ALL" God Bless..R.I.P.
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    09-11 .. 343 "All Gave Some..Some Gave ALL" God Bless..R.I.P.
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    The comments, opinions, and positions expressed here are mine. They are expressed respectfully, in the spirit of safety and progress. They do not reflect the opinions or positions of my employer or my department.

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    More from today's news

    http://www.sptimes.com/2002/08/21/He...s_up_uni.shtml

    http://www.sptimes.com/2002/08/21/He..._bosses_.shtml

    CaptStan Thanks for posting the other links.

    I thought that past bad deeds were inadmissible, I'm talking about the domestic violence charges, which were subsequently dropped. If charges are laid, I fail to see how they are going to find a jury that can be objective in their deliberation.
    Last edited by Temptaker; 08-21-2002 at 09:20 PM.

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    Hey captstanm1, this is only my opinion, but I believe you do a disservice to everyone on these forums by continuing to write about, attach copies of or using info obtained from an anti union, anti fire department RAG NEWSPAPER that's not even worth putting on the bottom of a bird cage. They continue to print misinformation, for shock value only, even when given accurate info by a department. When and IF the truth is finally printed it's usually to late to change public opinion. The times forced this story to be made public, causing political decisions to be made based on public opinion, not on public safety. ( It's what they do best). Even when a headline seems sympothetic or supportive, they will go on to attack members who HAVE NOT EVEN BEEN CHARGED, even so much so as to dig into their pasts to the point of where they went to high school WHY ?. I do not work for or with the Spring Hill fire dept. but I do live here in Spring Hill, and do not see how public safety has been achieved by suspending three members, WHO HAVE NOT BEEN CHARGED, of a dept. that alresdy has substandard staffing levels. (but thats another issue). If after a poilce dept investigation, (not the SP.Times investigation), these members are charged with a crime, than dicipline may be in order. Captstanm1 you know where I work, and its a regular target of the Times, which is why i'm so critical of this RAG PAPER and it's campaign of mis information. Its my opinion only .

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    axeyaz

    I don't agree with any of what has transpired and I firmly believe that these guys are getting railroaded and wonder if it could have even been a set up.

    I certainly don't support the views of the paper in this case or other controversial issues surrounding the county departments and the City of Brooksville. But I support Chief Morrison for his suspension with pay. From a supervisors standpoint I look at it this way. Just like in a sexual harassmant charge...these folks have daily contact with the public and they interact with them for medical reasons. There is a certain liability for the department to continue to let them have patient contact due to the nature of the "charges." I am in full support of these guys until they are formally charged, have a trial and the outcome of the trial is final. Innocent until proven guilty....that is the American way. Even if they are charged, tried and convicted...the entire thing smells funny to me and reaks of political stench based on a race for county commission.

    I am just passing on this information to the members of the fire service community in an effort to educate all as to what dangers lie out there....outside of the norm...


    Another article in yesterday's paper indicated the treasurer and secretary of the IAFF Local will be temproarily at the helm until the matter is resolved.

    http://www.sptimes.com/2002/08/22/He..._events_.shtml

    http://www.hernandotoday.com/MGAC1BZU55D.html

    http://www.sptimes.com/2002/08/21/He..._bosses_.shtml
    Last edited by captstanm1; 08-22-2002 at 08:50 AM.
    09-11 .. 343 "All Gave Some..Some Gave ALL" God Bless..R.I.P.
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    The comments, opinions, and positions expressed here are mine. They are expressed respectfully, in the spirit of safety and progress. They do not reflect the opinions or positions of my employer or my department.

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    Captstanm1 the only thing the fire service community will learn is what is written in that RAG PAPER, regardles if its true or not. As far as the nature of the "charges" as you state, THERE HAVE BEEN NO CHARGES. only allegations. And thanks to the SP.TIMES they have been tried and convicted in the paper. Remember immoral is not the same as illegal. My point is that the SP.TIMES will attack any fire dept. or union as part of their standard practice, and we should not be posting their classless garbage on these forums as a respect to all our brothers who have to deal with the aftermath of such trash reporting. And I dont work for Hernando or Brooksville, i'm with Clearwater ( 48 truck ) Be safe and stay out of the TIMES. Just my opinion.

  18. #18
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    Post More Information

    Instead of posting what the paper says, I will just say that the saga continues. Although I do not agree that the paper has prosecuted and convicted the firefighters. I feel the major concern here is how the whole incident was handled. Their problem is with action or inaction by the fire board. I suspect if you were to start a poll and ask how other departments would have handled the initial complaint you would see the response was much different.

    The Fire Board met on Saturday in an Emergency Session to discuss policy for investigating problems with department members in the future.

    Additionally, local news reports today published other information relating to the continued support of the commissioner who is running for County office and there was also a story relating to what led to the accuser being allowed to do a project on the fire department in the first place.
    09-11 .. 343 "All Gave Some..Some Gave ALL" God Bless..R.I.P.
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    Post Citizens group wants woman involved in internal investigation

    In today's news a citizens group is asking for a woman to be involved in the investigation. Keep in mind as you read this that THERE HAVE BEEN NO CHARGES PLACED.....ONLY ALLEGATIONS and these brothers are innocent until proven guilty. I certainly do not advocate what happened...but if you go back and follow the entier story...somewhere you will find a political connection. Then entire scenario smells of political stench to me... Additionally, (as AXEYAz has pointed out) it is quite obvious to me that the Newpapers are not friendly to the Fire Departments and are using this opportunity to take shots at the departments. However...it appears to me that the underlying story in each article has "politics" written all over it.

    http://www.sptimes.com/2002/08/28/He...woman_to.shtml

    http://www.sptimes.com/2002/08/28/He...ire_boar.shtml


    http://www.sptimes.com/2002/08/28/He...uct_not_.shtml
    Last edited by captstanm1; 08-28-2002 at 10:08 AM.
    09-11 .. 343 "All Gave Some..Some Gave ALL" God Bless..R.I.P.
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  20. #20
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    Post

    Fire Department Developing Policy on Investigations

    http://www.sptimes.com/2002/08/30/He...iry_plan.shtml
    09-11 .. 343 "All Gave Some..Some Gave ALL" God Bless..R.I.P.
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    The comments, opinions, and positions expressed here are mine. They are expressed respectfully, in the spirit of safety and progress. They do not reflect the opinions or positions of my employer or my department.

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    Default Training

    Mr. Kanner (the Fire Commissioner) who is running for County Commission has insisted on the members of the department receiving training. He has enlisted the help of a lady who is the director of a womans shelter. The woman will be delivering training on "Sexual Harassment and Voilence In The Workplace."

    I do not understand the connection here. This was something that occurred off duty and had the woman not complained there would be no issue. Why is there s sudden need for this training. I feel he is attempting to mend fences and appear to be doing something.

    This entier incident has smelled of political stench since it surfaced. From day 1 there has been political talk in every arena relating to this. Makes one wonder if the entire incident may have been staged to begin with... Beginning way back even before the alleged event that led to the complaint. Could these firefighters be political sacrifices ?
    09-11 .. 343 "All Gave Some..Some Gave ALL" God Bless..R.I.P.
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    The comments, opinions, and positions expressed here are mine. They are expressed respectfully, in the spirit of safety and progress. They do not reflect the opinions or positions of my employer or my department.

  22. #22
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    Post Action Delayed

    St. Petersburg Times--Hernando Section

    State delays action in rape investigation

    A prosecutor needs time to decide whether firefighters will face charges.
    By JAMIE JONES, Times Staff Writer
    St. Petersburg Times
    published September 20, 2002

    -------------------------------------

    SPRING HILL -- He had hoped to make a decision by Thursday.

    But Stewart Stone, a Seminole County prosecutor, said he needed more time before deciding whether to press charges against three Spring Hill firefighters accused of raping a 32-year-old woman at a convention in Altamonte Springs.

    Stone said that he had met with the woman and needed to explore different threads of the investigation before making a decision, which could come by the end of the month.

    "Some follow-up work is not unusual," Stone said.

    He declined further comment.

    The Spring Hill woman told police in June that she had gotten "extremely intoxicated" with three firefighters -- Lt. John Ferriero, Edward Falk and Thomas White -- and they had sex with her in a hotel room. Ferriero is union president and Falk is vice president.

    The woman claimed that she had dated Falk, and that he invited her to the firefighter convention. The men admitted to having sex but said it was consensual, according to police.

    Chief J.J. Morrison suspended the firefighters when the investigation was made public.

    Soon after, he began drafting a policy for conducting internal investigations within the department.

    He said the district will conduct its own inquiry into the firefighters actions after the criminal investigation is completed to determine whether they violated any district policies.

    At a meeting Wednesday, Morrison presented an internal affairs plan to the fire board and hopes commissioners will officially approve the document next week. Spring Hill resident Jack Scott, a retired New York investigator, helped Morrison create the document.

    Morrison suggested having the assistant fire chief, William Davies, conduct any internal affairs investigations. He said Davies would gather facts, which would be presented to Morrison for a final determination on discipline.

    If an employee is unhappy with Morrison's decision, he or she could appeal to the fire board, which would have final say.

    Morrison said he is uncertain what will happen with the three firefighters and declined to discuss what he will do if they are charged with rape.

    If they are not, Morrison said he did not know whether they would remain on paid suspension while an internal affairs investigation is completed.

    He said the assistant chief could ask for help from a private investigator during the internal inquiry.

    Commissioner Robert Martin said he had heard Scott may conduct the investigation.

    Scott has many friends in the department and has worked for Commissioner Jeff Hollander, who said he saw no conflict with the arrangement.

    However, Scott said on Thursday that he was not interested in conducting any investigations for Spring Hill.

    "My rates are too high," he said.

    -- Jamie Jones can be reached at 754-6114. Send e-mail to jjones@sptimes.com.
    09-11 .. 343 "All Gave Some..Some Gave ALL" God Bless..R.I.P.
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    The comments, opinions, and positions expressed here are mine. They are expressed respectfully, in the spirit of safety and progress. They do not reflect the opinions or positions of my employer or my department.

  23. #23
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    Accuser calls for an outside inquiry

    The woman, who has accused three Spring Hill firefighters of raping her, says the department is incapable of conducting a fair investigation.
    By JAMIE JONES, Times Staff Writer
    St. Petersburg Times
    published September 23, 2002

    -----------------------

    SPRING HILL -- The woman who accused three Spring Hill firefighters of raping her in June said she does not believe the department can conduct an objective internal investigation into the conduct of the three men.

    She said she would refuse to participate in the process if asked.

    The woman, whose name is being withheld by the Times because of the nature of the allegations, said the Spring Hill Fire Rescue District should have an impartial outsider determine whether the three firefighters violated any department policies.

    In June, she accused three Spring Hill firefighters of raping her in a hotel room in Altamonte Springs, where the firefighters were attending a convention. The State Attorney's Office in Seminole County is reviewing the case. Prosecutors said they will decide in coming weeks whether to press charges.

    After the criminal investigation is completed, the district plans to conduct its own.

    The woman said the internal inquiry will not be credible unless it is thorough and conducted by "someone absolutely and completely not associated with the fire department in any way, shape or form. . . . It's a good ol' boy network."

    On Wednesday, Chief J.J. Morrison is expected to ask the fire commission to approve new procedures for conducting internal investigations when complaints are filed against district employees.

    Morrison began working on the plan weeks ago after the public learned of the rape investigation. He knew of the investigation early on but kept it quiet, and suspended the three firefighters -- Lt. John Ferriero, Edward Falk and Thomas White -- on Aug. 19 only after newspaper articles detailed the investigation.

    The men admitted to having sex with the woman but said it was consensual, according to police.

    Under Morrison's plan, the department's assistant chief, William Davies, would conduct internal affairs investigations. He would gather facts about an incident and present them to Morrison, who would decide on discipline. Employees could appeal his decision to the fire board.

    The purpose of an internal affairs investigation is to determine whether employees violated district policies and procedures. Currently, the district does not have a standard procedure. Each complaint is handled individually, Morrison said.

    The woman who accused the firefighters said she did not believe the fire department could dispassionately evaluate the incident because so many of the firefighters and commissioners are good friends.

    She said she would prefer that the Hernando County Commission, which oversees the fire district, appoint an outside investigator to handle the inquiry.

    Morrison refused to comment, saying he would not discuss the case until prosecutors decide whether to press charges.

    The fire district's policy book says employees can be fired if they are convicted of a felony or a first- or second-degree misdemeanor or engage in sexual misconduct.

    The policy book also says an employee can be suspended if he or she exhibits "immoral or improper conduct or indecency, on or off the job, which would tend to affect employees' relationship to the job, another employee's reputation, trust or goodwill in the community."

    Fire commission chairman Bob Kanner said if the firefighters had sex with the woman, they violated district policies about proper behavior.

    As for the woman, Kanner said he does not believe the district would need to talk to her during the internal inquiry.

    Lt. Joe Paez of the Hernando County Sheriff's Office said because police are conducting a criminal investigation, the fire district will likely have access to statements made under oath by each of the people involved. That may be enough to decide, without talking to the woman, whether any agency policies were violated, Paez said.

    The woman said Friday that she plans to file a complaint against the Altamonte Springs detective who investigated her case. She said Detective Curtis Smith failed to interview key witnesses.

    Officer Eric Wels, the Police Department spokesman, said Friday that he did not know enough about the case to comment.

    The woman said she was pleased that prosecutors are doing their own investigating, although she is worried that the memories of possible witnesses have faded and the trails of some leads have grown cold.

    She said she, too, likely hindered the police investigation by waiting. She said she filed a report 24 days after she was raped because, at first, she wanted to forget what happened.

    "It's been so long," she said.

    -- Jamie Jones covers law enforcement and courts in Hernando County and can be reached at 754-6114. Send e-mail to jjones@sptimes.com.
    09-11 .. 343 "All Gave Some..Some Gave ALL" God Bless..R.I.P.
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    The comments, opinions, and positions expressed here are mine. They are expressed respectfully, in the spirit of safety and progress. They do not reflect the opinions or positions of my employer or my department.

  24. #24
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    Post Inquiry given to an outsider

    The Fire Commission has given the internal investigation responsibility to an outsider.

    http://www.sptimes.com/2002/09/27/He...iry_hand.shtml
    09-11 .. 343 "All Gave Some..Some Gave ALL" God Bless..R.I.P.
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    BMI Investigator
    ------------------------------
    The comments, opinions, and positions expressed here are mine. They are expressed respectfully, in the spirit of safety and progress. They do not reflect the opinions or positions of my employer or my department.

  25. #25
    District Chief
    distchief60b's Avatar
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    Mar 2001
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    Post 4 months and still no decision.....Ridiculous!

    After 4 months there has still been no decision in this case. These brother firefighters ...who are still innocent....have been in limbo for 4 months...their lives turned upside down. What they did was certainly not morally correct since one or more of them are married...but a decision needs to be made.... Either they are guilty or they are not. I still feel that the entire thing has the pungent odor of political involvement. HMMMMM....A Fire Board member attempts to unseat a County Commissioner in an upcoming election...The local IAFF suddenly swings it's support to the Fire Board Member who at one time they appeared to oppose... The accuser works in same complex as the Board Member. What else?? Hmmm..the Fire District is seeking independance from the County in November...this current county commissioner who beat the challenger in the primary says this is unnecessary...the Fire Board member who was initially opposed (very much so) to the independance suddenly changes his views and oppinions in support of independance... Enter the complaintant who waited almost 2 months to file a complaint....
    ___________________________________________

    HERNANDO TODAY

    State attorney still undecided on charges
    MICHAEL D. BATES mbates@hernandotoday.com
    Published: Oct 13, 2002

    SPRING HILL - Four months after a 32-year-old local woman alleged that three Spring Hill firefighters raped her during a convention in Altamonte Springs, the state attorney handling the case has made no decision on the charges. State attorney Stewart Stone has said only that the matter is still under review and will not comment further.

    Meanwhile, the fire district has racked up $6,533 in overtime expenses to pay for additional firefighters to take the place of the three accused men suspended with pay until a decision is reached.

    The dark cloud continues to hang over the fire department, as employees wonder if three of their own will face serious criminal charges.

    The accused men, hoping for a speedy resolution to the case, have denied the Spring Hill woman's allegations and want their names cleared so they can get on with their lives.

    "This continues to be a nightmare of unbelievable magnitude and I wish it would end so I can go back to the job I love so much," said Lt. John Ferriero, who, along with Edward Falk and Tom White, was accused of the alleged rape.

    Fire Commissioner Gene Panozzo said he is surprised at the abnormally long wait "I think it's ridiculous," Panozzo said. "Either they're going to drop it or prosecute it. But it's time to do something. I want to get this thing put to bed. I don't want this thing hanging over us."

    Fire Chairman Bob Kanner said the longer this drags on, the steeper the price tag to taxpayers.

    "I can't understand for the life of me why the state attorney in Seminole County is taking so long to come up with a decision," Kanner said.

    Kanner blames the negative fallout from the controversy for contributing to his failed bid to unseat County Commissioner Chris Kingsley for the District 2 seat in November.

    In the last month, the board took unprecedented measures to handle the matter, including the creation of a first-ever internal affairs division, which will investigate the rape allegation.

    But that internal affairs procedure cannot go forward until the state attorney releases his determination.

    "We already have an investigator and internal affairs investigation procedure in place so that the moment the state attorney makes his decision, the fire district will be ready to begin their investigation," Kanner said.

    To facilitate that investigation, the fire district attorney tried to obtain sworn statements from the people being questioned by the state attorney.

    "We asked them for it and they wouldn't get it to us," said Fire Commissioner Jeff Hollander.

    "Our attorney contacted the state attorney several weeks ago, and they said they are doing what they can to get things expedited," Hollander said.

    "There's not a darn thing we can do until they finish," he said.

    Fire Commissioner Tommy Marasciullo believes the state attorney is being especially thorough on the case because of the media spotlight. He also believes the final report will clear all three men.

    "(Rape) is a very serious charge," he said. "If the state attorney thought it was that serious, I think someone would be in (handcuffs) already," he said. But Marasciullo said once the state attorney's report is issued, any further inquiry into the matter is unnecessary.

    "If they can't find anything, can you tell me what we can find?" Marasciullo asked.

    Marasciullo said he doesn't believe the three men broke any of the district's policies and procedures. With the district low on paramedics, it's time to return them to active duty if they are cleared of any charges, he said. From what he's heard, all three are ready to return to work.

    "We need to put our men back," he said.

    On the positive side, firefighter morale has improved since the early days of the investigation, Marasciullo added.
    09-11 .. 343 "All Gave Some..Some Gave ALL" God Bless..R.I.P.
    ------------------------------
    IACOJ Minister of Southern Comfort
    "Purple Hydrant" Recipient (3 Times)
    BMI Investigator
    ------------------------------
    The comments, opinions, and positions expressed here are mine. They are expressed respectfully, in the spirit of safety and progress. They do not reflect the opinions or positions of my employer or my department.

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