Cincinnati Captain Files Federal Suit Following Firehouse TV Dispute

A Cincinnati fire captain has filed suit claiming he is the victim of sexual harassment and retaliation after he complained to a district chief about a “film” being played on the station television. Captain Janos Roper claims that in December, 2017, personnel were watching a “graphic, offensive, and prurient film” that he found to be “repugnant” and “degrading to women.”

When firefighters refused to change the channel he complained to a district chief who “refused to take a report regarding the incident.” Roper claims that supervisors then began retaliating against him “fabricating stories, making accusations, and verbally harassing” him.

Roper filed suit in US District Court last Friday alleging sexual harassment and retaliation. The complaint contains a third count seeking injunctive relief to prevent any further retaliation. From the complaint:

  • Roper was demoted to a less favorable position with different responsibilities in close proximity to reporting the harassment.
  • Defendant’s retaliation will hinder Mr. Roper from being promoted.
  • In fact, Mr. Roper’s supervisors unjustifiably gave Mr. Roper two written redemands and one verbal reprimand in close proximity to reporting harassment.

Local news outlets are reporting the “film” in question was a R-rated movie titled “Any Given Sunday” that stars Cameron Diaz and Al Pacino.

Here is a copy of the complaint: Roper v Cincinnati

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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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