In documents obtained from the city of Ottumwa, two firefighters were fired due to misconduct that was sexual in nature while their captain failed to report the misconduct.
On Monday, the city announced the terminations of Firefighter Derek Fye and Captain Bill Keith. A third firefighter, Firefighter Dillon McPherson, resigned in lieu of termination.
According to the documents obtained by Ottumwa Radio News, Fye and McPherson were “founded and confirmed” to have engaged in sexual activity while on duty in city facilities/equipment. These actions violated professional expectations, according to City Administrator Phil Rath.
Specifically, in the Introduction to the Department rules, it is stated:
“As a fire fighter it is essential you realize the responsibilities of your position and the confidence that is entrusted in you by the citizens of Ottumwa. Your personal conduct, both on and off duty, will reflect upon the entire Fire Department. In the eyes of the public, the fire fighter is never off duty and his/her every act may be subject to scrutiny, interpretation and comment. Therefore, the rules & Regulations must be based upon departmental welfare, and individual desires must often, of necessity, be subdued for the best interest of the organization as a whole.”
In written communication, Fye and McPherson violated Articles 8 and 35 which say: “Members shall not engage in any sexual activity while on duty.”
In a letter, Keith was fired for failing to “adequately lead those under your command and further displaying an attitude of indifference toward holding employees accountable to the values and standards of the department and the City of Ottumwa.”
Keith is accused of violating Articles A-8 and 24 which both state: “Any member who has information concerning…dereliction of duty, or… unprofessional conduct by another employee shall report such to an immediate supervisor without delay.”
The investigation into the Ottumwa Fire Department was carried out by Des Moines-based Dentons Davis Brown PC. In May, the Ottumwa City Council approved of the hiring in a closed session.