LAFD Fire Chief Apologizes for Inappropriate Photo and Disciplines Himself

The Los Angeles Fire Department has been in the news lately over the appearance of an apparatus in porn movies. Fire Chief Brian Cummings launched an investigation that resulted in no disciplinary actions after it was discovered that the porn movies were made in 2008, outside the two-year statute of limitations on acts of misconduct established by the city charter.  It also appears that the department has not been able to identify the firefighters who took part in the movie.

Meanwhile Chief Cummings came out with a startling revelation of his own: 13 years ago, when he was a Captain of a four man rig, he allowed himself to be photographed while on duty with a bikini-clad woman  on Venice Beach, along with other firefighters under his command, in front of the fire truck.

The Chief informed the Mayor about the incident, produced the photo, apologized and self-imposed a punishment of 120 hours of community service. He said that he wanted to be accountable for his actions and build the public trust in him.

Chief Cummings said that he would have a relook at the City charter and introduce a new Code of Conduct to the LA Fire Commission. He also plans to provide training to all firefighters regarding ethics.

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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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