Denver Lieutenant Fired Over Offensive Comments

A fire lieutenant with the Denver Fire Department has been terminated following an investigation into offensive comments that over time earned him the nickname of the Racist-Rover. Lieutenant Jared Russo was terminated last month following an investigation that began July 27, 2022.

Lt. Russo was accused of making comments about Asian, Black, Hispanic and Jewish people. According to Denver7, these comments suggested:

  • the Holocaust never happened
  • slaves were lucky to be brought to the United States
  • Hitler was a better person than Abraham Lincoln

A joint statement issued by the Executive Director of the Department of Public Safety, Armando Saldate, Denver Fire Chief Desmond Fulton said:

  • There is no room for racism in the Denver Fire Department, or any Denver public safety agency.
  • The comments and sentiments expressed by this individual are incompatible with wearing the Denver Fire uniform and are antithetical to the values of this Department.
  • We hope this sends a clear message that racism will not be tolerated in the Department of Public Safety, and that we will continue to take swift action to address issues like this if they arise in the future.

    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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