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UPDATE: 5 accused Milwaukee firefighters disciplined

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UPDATED Friday, February 14, 2014 --- 5:01 p.m.

MILWAUKEE (AP) -- Five Milwaukee firefighters accused of vandalizing a firehouse last September won't be fired.

The Milwaukee Fire Department says two of the firefighters who failed to properly prevent or report the vandalism will be demoted. All five will serve unpaid 30-day suspensions and take remedial training.

Nine firefighters were suspended Sept. 30 after Engine House 32 was found vandalized. It was the last shift before the firefighters were expected to be transferred to other firehouses.

Since an internal investigation began in October, two firefighters have taken early retirement and two probationary firefighters were fired. Last month, an investigation board recommended the remaining five firefighters be fired.

But a department news release Friday said that most of the vandalism and disorder was committed by people who have already left.

Copyright 2014: Associated Press


UPDATED Friday, January 10, 2014 --- 3:15 p.m.

MILWAUKEE (AP) -- The Milwaukee Fire Department's Board of Investigation is recommending firing five firefighters for failing to prevent or report vandalism at a fire station.

The department announced the recommendations Friday.

Nine Milwaukee firefighters were placed on administrative suspension last fall. Of the suspended firefighters, two have since retired and two who were probationary employees were fired.

The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports the remaining five will have a chance to present evidence to the fire chief before he makes a decision.

The investigation centered on vandalism at Engine House 32 during the Sept. 28 overnight shift. That shift was the last before many of the firefighters assigned there were to be transferred.

Fire Chief Mark Rohlfing has not discussed specific acts of vandalism but has called the situation "upsetting and disappointing."

Copyright 2014: Associated Press


UPDATED Friday, October 4, 2013 --- 9:40 a.m.

MILWAUKEE (AP) -- Milwaukee's fire chief is making his first public comments about the suspension of nine firefighters.

Chief Mark Rohlfing spoke outside a Milwaukee Fire and Police Commission meeting Thursday night and expressed disgust over the incident. The firefighters were placed on administrative leave for allegedly damaging the inside of a fire station.

Rohlfing declined to talk specifically about the incident, but said the vast majority of the fire department employees work hard to serve the public and it's disappointing that a few firefighters would give the group a "black eye."

WISN-TV reports the suspensions weren't on the commission's agenda.

Copyright 2013: Associated Press


UPDATED Wednesday, October 2, 2013 --- 2:18 p.m.

MILWAUKEE (AP) -- Milwaukee's fire chief is investigating whether nine firefighters should be disciplined for allegedly damaging the inside of a fire house.

Milwaukee Fire and Police Commission Executive Director Michael Tobin says the firefighters were put on administrative suspension Tuesday and aren't reporting to work during the investigation. The nine are still being paid.

He said Wednesday the allegations also involve other inappropriate conduct inside the firehouse, which is on the north side of town. He couldn't comment on the specifics, but said it happened "within days" of them being put on leave.

Fire Chief Mark Rohlfing said in a statement his department is investigating and the alleged events didn't involve citizens.

Mayor Tom Barrett's spokesman, Jeff Fleming, says Barrett has been briefed and asked the chief to conduct a thorough review.

Copyright 2013: Associated Press


Posted Wednesday, October 2, 2013 --- 9:01 a.m.

MILWAUKEE (AP) -- Milwaukee's fire chief has suspended nine firefighters for an undisclosed reason.

Fire Chief Mark Rohlfing said in a statement the firefighters were suspended following an internal investigation. But, he provided no details.

The chief says his department is working with the city attorney as the investigation progresses.

Copyright 2013: Associated Press

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