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NEWS
February 26, 2015
A REPORT BY the city's Inspector General's office that has recommended discipline for seven men in the city's Fire Department for sexual misconduct and harassment, and a report assessing the Police Department's stop-and-frisk program may seem unrelated. Although the separate and serious issues in each report should be dealt with, they also raise a larger question about the culture of departments that are supposed to insure public safety. A Daily News report on the IG's investigation into allegations that more than two dozen Fire Department employees took sexual advantage and harassed a mentally trouble female paramedic paints a sickening picture of a gender hell hole.
NEWS
February 25, 2015 | BY DANA DiFILIPPO & DAVID GAMBACORTA, Daily News Staff Writers difilid@phillynews.com, 215-854-5934
HAVING YOUR BOSS unzip his pants and "adjust himself" in front of you should not be part of anyone's workday. Neither should opening a desk drawer and discovering that a colleague has ejaculated all over its contents. But these stomach-turning events - and others just as offensive - were not unusual for female members of the Philadelphia Fire Department, the Daily News has found. Such incidents hint at larger ingrained problems - sexual harassment, discrimination and questionable relationships between supervisors and subordinates - that the department's leaders have ignored for years, critics say. In fact, the Inspector General's Office referenced systemic issues in its investigation into allegations that 15 Fire Department employees had sexual encounters with or sexually harassed a mentally troubled female paramedic.
NEWS
February 13, 2015 | Inquirer Editorial Board
The math should be simple: Investing in the city's Department of Licenses and Inspections protects the public from dangerous buildings, improves neighborhoods' quality of life, and lifts property values. According to a Nutter administration study group, L&I needs another $13.9 million, which would increase its $27.6 million budget by about half. That would pay for more building inspectors and more employees to concentrate on vacant properties. Workers would also be added to the Fire Department to take over fire inspections for L&I, a logical move considering that firefighters have to deal with the consequences of lax enforcement.
NEWS
February 8, 2015 | By Aubrey Whelan, Inquirer Staff Writer
The Philadelphia Office of the Inspector General has recommended that seven Fire Department employees face discipline for their interactions with a female paramedic who filed a sexual harassment complaint against the department last year, union officials said Friday. Among the seven are two battalion chiefs who were determined to have had inappropriate relationships with the woman, a subordinate, according to documents obtained by The Inquirer. The chiefs were not named in the woman's initial complaint, but their involvement with her was revealed as the Inspector General's Office investigated her other claims.
NEWS
February 4, 2015 | By Claudia Vargas, Inquirer Staff Writer
The Nutter administration has put a price tag on fixing the Department of Licenses and Inspections: $13.9 million, which would cover 110 new city employees and their equipment. The department has about 300 employees and an annual budget of $27.6 million. Under the changes outlined in a draft report titled "L&I 2015 Plan for a Safer City," the agency would gain 83 employees. An additional 27 would go to other city agencies, including the Fire Department. The report is the administration's response to recommendations made by mayor's special independent advisory commission, which in October suggested 37 steps for reforming L&I. The commission - created in response to the 2013 Center City building collapse that killed six people and injured 13 - found that L&I was underfunded, had too many responsibilities, and would better operate as two agencies: a Department of Buildings and a Department of Business Compliance.
NEWS
February 1, 2015 | PBy Aubrey Whelan, Inquirer Staff Writer
A Philadelphia paramedic has alleged that about a dozen fellow Fire Department employees pressured her into sex - including a supervisor and two Fire Academy instructors - over a four-year period, according to a source with knowledge of the woman's account. The alleged acts outlined in an official complaint filed last spring, the source said, included an instance in which a supervisor coerced her into a sex act and filmed it, and another in which two men locked her in an ambulance and ordered her to perform a sex act. The paramedic, whom The Inquirer is not naming because of the nature of the allegations, says that from 2011, when she was in the academy, to last year, she was pressured or coerced multiple times into having sex or performing sex acts.
NEWS
January 31, 2015 | By Aubrey Whelan, Inquirer Staff Writer
Two people were killed in a South Philadelphia rowhouse fire early Thursday and a police officer was injured trying to rescue them, fire officials said. The fire on the 400 block of Daly Street was reported at 1:23 a.m., officials said. Companies had arrived on the scene by 1:27, Fire Department spokesman Chief Clifford Gilliam said, and entered the house shortly afterward. Inside, they found the bodies of a man and a woman in their 60s. Gilliam would not identify them, but residents on the block said their first names were Mickey and Marsha.
NEWS
January 30, 2015 | BY DANA DiFILIPPO & DAVID GAMBACORTA, Daily News Staff Writers difilid@phillynews.com, 215-854-5934
A FIERY SEX scandal threatens to burn up multiple firefighters' careers, including some top brass, according to former Fire Commissioner Lloyd Ayers. Ayers told the Daily News yesterday that the investigation into a young paramedic's claims of sexual misconduct began shortly before Ayers retired in June. The paramedic - whose identity is being withheld by the Daily News because of the nature of the allegations - has filed a complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, alleging misconduct by another paramedic.
NEWS
January 14, 2015 | By Tricia L. Nadolny and Julia Terruso, Inquirer Staff Writers
One of Philadelphia's first female firefighters eulogized fallen comrade Joyce Craig on Monday as a woman who not only broke stereotypes but encouraged others to do the same. At a memorial service marking the end of the city's monthlong mourning period, Lt. Diane Mercer said Craig often spoke with young women in her neighborhood about how to enter the demanding field. "May Joyce's spirit and tenacity to be the best that she could be continue through all of us," said Mercer, who in 1985 was sworn in as one of the city's first three female firefighters.
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