OMAHA, Neb. --
In a letter written by Fire Chief Mike McDonnell to Darren Bates, the Omaha firefighter fighting accusations that he sought sex from a prostitute, McDonnell explained why he decided to fire Bates.
Bates didn't truthfully answer investigators' question, McDonnell wrote in the letter, which was made public after repeated requests by KETV. Bates' answers to investigators, McDonnell wrote, were attempts to "justify what you did after the fact."
He said that Bates' version of what happened on Feb. 3 "clearly contradicts" what really happened.
Bates was cited in a prostitution sting after answering ads on Craigslist. He was ticketed in a Council Bluffs hotel where he met an undercover informant posing as a prostitute.
McDonnell's letter, dated March 10, noted that Bates told investigators immediately after his citation that he was there for a massage. He said Bates told investigators that "someone" told him he could get massages on Craigslist, though the ad he replied to never specified massages.
But, McDonnell wrote, when investigators told Bates they reviewed the encounter on tape and that they thought he had made a deal for sex, Bates said, "I know," and then lowered his head.
McDonnell noted that the ad Bates answered made no mention of massage, the hotel room had no massage equipment and the undercover woman was wearing a satin robe -- not something a licensed massage therapist would wear.
Further, McDonnell wrote, Bates nodded when the informant asked if he wanted "everything." McDonnell said "everything' is common code in the prostitution trade meaning sex.
McDonnell said Bates was fired, then, because he discredited his department and committed acts of omission.
Bates told KETV that McDonnell has an inaccurate version of what happened, and that the chief shouldn't have released a confidential personnel letter into public domain. Bates said it'll affect his ability to get impartial jurors before his May court date.
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