Lawrence, Indiana Firefighter Fired for Sexual Harassment

A Lawrence, Indiana firefighter has been terminated for sexual harassment. Michael Rude was accused of a lengthy list of inappropriate conduct. The Lawrence Merit board rendered its decision on September 1, 2010 after numerous witnesses came forward to describe his conduct, which included groping, repeated inappropriate sexual comments, and entering female only areas of the fire station.

Rude's defense was that sexually explicit language was common in the Lawrence Fire Department. The Merit Board found him guilty of eight of the nine allegations.

About Curt Varone

Curt Varone has over 45 years of fire service experience and 35 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, 4th ed. 2022) and Fire Officer's Legal Handbook (2007), and is a contributing editor for Firehouse Magazine writing the Fire Law column.
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