2 Staffers Charged in Philly Firefighter Sex Scandal to Face Punishment

Officials revealed new information Tuesday night in a sex scandal involving the Philadelphia Fire Department.

NBC10 confirmed two fire department employees allegedly connected to the scandal waived a department hearing on the accusations against them and instead chose to face their punishment. Officials have not yet revealed what that punishment will be.

Allegations surfaced in late January that a female paramedic engaged in sexual acts with multiple co-workers in firehouses throughout the city while they were both on-and-off-duty.

Seven fire department employees, including two battalion chiefs, a captain, a lieutenant, two firefighters and a paramedic, were charged with disciplinary violations, including conduct unbecoming, in connection to those allegations. 

Philadelphia Firefighters and Paramedics Union Local 22 President Joseph Schulle told NBC10 the union initially learned 13 members were accused of sexual misconduct from the redacted version of the report he received. However, the redacted report only addressed allegations against the seven staffers, according to Schulle.

Schulle claimed the redacted report failed to include information on the other six staff members and revealed there was no evidence to indicate any misconduct happened while on-duty or in a firehouse.

"It defies logic," he said. "The department forced this member to file a complaint, charged several members that were not even identified in the complaint and is now considering charging her."
"We didn't even provided the complete copy of the EEOC complaint," Schulle said.

It is unclear what city agency provided the redacted version to the union. Officials with the mayor's office declined to comment on the matter.

One of the two battalion chiefs allegedly made an effort to help the female employee at the center of this scandal -- leading to a disciplinary violation.

"It was determined by the IG that one of these chief officers was overly concerned with her well-being and participated in off-duty, non-sexual activities with this subordinate employee," Schulle explained. "The IG concluded that his off-duty relationship and his effort to help the subordinate employee with her struggles was evidence of misconduct."

The other battalion chief and two others were charged based on "alleged consensual, off-duty sexual relationships" with the female, Schulle said.

"In these three cases, the inspector general found that there was no substantiated charges of sexual activities within the firehouse or on any Fire Department apparatus," he continued.

Although the accusations were unproven, the Fire Department still charged one of the Local 22 members with having sexual relations within a fire house, he explained.

Philly's Fire Department currently has no policy about fraternization and several sets of spouses work within the department -- some in supervisory roles, he said.

No allegations were made by the female employee at the center of the scandal against the battalion chiefs, said Schulle, who added she was coerced by department officials into making the complaint.

"She was told if she did not file a complaint, she would be required to sign a document stating nothing inappropriate had occurred," he said.

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