Officials to probe Va. fire dept. over sexual harassment claims

Board members voted Tuesday to examine the department in light of firefighter-paramedic Nicole Mittendorff’s suicide

FAIRFAX, Va. — The Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department will undergo an investigation after several harassment complaints were filed in light of Nicole Mittendorff’s suicide.

The Fairfax County Board of Supervisors voted Tuesday to hire an outside company to look into the department’s work environment, reported WUSA9. Last week, the director of the department’s professional standards, Guy Morgan, was placed on administrative leave after lewd posts were discovered on his Facebook feed.

The decision comes weeks after firefighter Mittendorff’s suicide and the alleged sexual harassment and bullying she experienced.

The board released the following statement.

“The Board of Supervisors directs the County Executive to retain an outside third party consultant to assess the working environment within the Fire and Rescue Department, focusing on Equal Employment issues, workforce morale, mental health assistance and communication issues. County staff will develop a more formal scope of work for this study. Fire and Rescue Chief Richie Bowers fully supports this initiative."


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