Inappropriate On-Duty Internet Activity Claims Nashville Fire Captain

It is not uncommon for members of the public to complain about governmental waste. We have all had to explain to angry taxpayers that it doesn’t cost $2,000 or even $20 to drive an engine company from the fire station to the grocery store, or how it is not wasteful to send a fire truck along with the ambulance to a reported heart attack.

But this case is different. Nashville Fire Captain Jeffrey T. Piercy, a 19-year veteran, was caught chatting on an adult web site called Camfuze.  Apparently, the website is used to share sexually explicit photos  and have X-rated video chats.  Former Captain Piercy admitted to using his personal laptop computer to access the site while on duty.

Why the admission? Turns out that someone at the other end of the chat was so upset at seeing an on-duty firefighter, that he tipped off the media and the fire chief by sending them a screen shot of Piercey broadcasting from the station on the adult web site. He appropriately titled the email as “Government Waste”.

In the photo, Piercy was wearing a Nashville Fire Department uniform shirt with his name on it. The screen shot of the site showed that Piercy had been a member of the site since November 2009 and it featured a photo of Piercy in his captain's quarters at the fire department.

The fire department investigated, and Piercy admitted to the charges. He was reassigned to work at the training academy.  After investigation Piercy has been temporarily demoted from captain to fire engineer, and suspended for 10 days without pay. His punishment ends in January 2011.

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About Curt Varone

Curt Varone has over 40 years of fire service experience and 30 as a practicing attorney licensed in both Rhode Island and Maine. His background includes 29 years as a career firefighter in Providence (retiring as a Deputy Assistant Chief), as well as volunteer and paid on call experience. He is the author of two books: Legal Considerations for Fire and Emergency Services, (2006, 2nd ed. 2011, 3rd ed. 2014) and Fire Officer's Legal Handbook (2007), and is a contributing editor for Firehouse Magazine writing the Fire Law column.

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