Tucson Captain’s Rank Reinstated by Civil Service Commission

 

Here is a follow up to a story we covered two weeks ago. The Tucson captain who was accused of committing lewd acts on a subordinate that led to a $125,000 settlement, has had his rank restored by the local civil service commission following a hearing.

Paramedic firefighter Cody Jenkins claims that he was physically assaulted and harassed three times by Captain Roger Tamietti on November 9, 2012 while working at Station 7. Jenkins filed a $500,000 civil claim against the city in February that was just settled for $125,000.

Captain Tamietti was demoted to firefighter and charged criminally with three misdemeanor counts of assault and harassment.

Yesterday, the civil service commission concluded that the punishment imposed was excessive. Quoting from the Arizona Daily Star:

Tamietti fought back tears while testifying Monday. He said he was "embarrassed" and "ashamed" when he found out allegations were leading to a demotion. But he defended himself throughout the ordeal by saying "horseplay" and "roughhousing" are a normal part of life at a Tucson firehouse, and he never intended to hurt or humiliate anyone.

During his hearing, numerous fellow firefighters' testimony confirmed Tamietti's description of firehouses. Firefighters from paramedics to battalion chiefs who were sworn under oath said roughhousing was part of the culture.

While Tamietti admitted to throwing Jenkins on the couch, he denied ever performing a lewd act.

The civil service commission cited the lack of even one corroborating witness to support Jenkins’ allegations, “dubious” investigative methods employed by those who investigated the allegations, and improper application of the department’s own rules in rendering their decision to restore Captain Tamietti’s rank.

Captain Tamietti still faces the three criminal charges.

More on the story.

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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