OMAHA, Neb. --
The firing of an Omaha firefighter who lost his job amid allegations that he was involved in soliciting prostitution has been upheld.
A grievance filed by Darren Bates was denied Wednesday, according to Assistant City Attorney Bernard Bosch.
Bates had appealed his firing and the matter went into arbitration.
In a harshly worded ruling, the arbitrator blasted Bates for lying to the city and to his bosses.
The 27-page ruling cited how Bates "destroyed his usefulness to the city" and how not a single co-worker would come forward as a character witness for the 15-year firefighter.
"I think no question if he admitted what he had done and was truthful during the investigation, no doubt he would not have been fired," Bosch said.
Bates was found not guilty last May of soliciting prostitution after he was arrested in a reverse prostitution sting conducted in a Council Bluffs motel.
Bates argued that he answered a Craigslist ad with the intentions of seeking a sensual massage at the motel and not sex.
Prosecutors argued at the time that Bates knew the woman who met him at the motel was offering more than a massage. Bates paid the woman, who was an undercover informant, $150 before he was arrested, prosecutors said.
The news is another blow to the former fire captain who was also a Council Bluffs City Council member when the scandal broke. He lost his bid for re-election last fall.
Bates can still appeal the arbitrator's decision in district court. Bates didn't return calls Wednesday from KETV requesting comment.
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