Another issue with a fire servcie mebmer
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Milwaukee fire lieutenant is focus of misconduct inquiry
Firefighter said she saw him perform lewd act while he was on duty
By JOHN DIEDRICH
Posted: Dec. 6, 2005
A Milwaukee Fire Department lieutenant is under investigation for allegedly performing a lewd act in front of a computer camera while on duty and broadcasting the image on an adult Web site, sources familiar with the investigation said.
The incident was reported by a female firefighter who said she saw the lieutenant engaged in the lewd act.
Fire Chief William Wentlandt confirmed there is an internal investigation into possible misconduct by a department employee. He said the investigation is in its early stages and declined to give other details.
"We are being very aggressive in pursuing this internal investigation," the chief said. "I can't comment on the investigation because it is ongoing."
Unlike the Police Department, the Fire Department has relatively few internal investigations, perhaps one or two a year, said Luke Jones, a lieutenant in the department and vice president of the Milwaukee Professional Firefighters Local 215.
Jones said the lieutenant had not been suspended as far as he knew.
He said the alleged incident occurred last week, but he has received very other little information.
"All I have is a lot of rumor and talk, and nothing concrete that I can share with you at this point," Jones said.
Internal investigations at the Fire Department are handled by the Bureau of Administration, headed by Deputy Chief Andrew Smerz, who also declined to comment.
Fire Department employees who are suspended generally do not receive pay during that suspension, he said. Unlike police officers, firefighters are not paid after they are terminated by the chief.
A state law that applies only to Milwaukee police says officers must be paid until their appeals are exhausted with the Fire and Police Commission. A bill to cut off pay for fired officers was recently k