The Heart of the Matter: Predatory Sexual Behavior

Ethics, Conflict and Sex

Fire Chief Richard Bowers

Fire Chief Richard Bowers

Fairfax Fire Chief Richie Bowers is dancing on the head of a pin but the leadership of Local 2068 is there to catch him if (when) he falls.

Bowers needs to keep the focus on Fairfax Underground and the individuals who made the malicious posts.

Why?

If he can do that he avoids a spotlight being shown on his own conduct and failures to prevent predatory sexual behavior under his watch.

Yammering on about “cyber” this and “cyber” that is nothing more than Damage Control 101.

So far, the press has fallen for the Bowers’ cover-up though Dave Statter at least obliquely referred to the obvious oversight when he wrote:

“Separate from the awful rumors and harassment on Fairfax Underground are some pretty serious and specific allegations about the department. The chief didn’t say, and I didn’t hear a reporter ask, if those claims are being investigated. If there is validity to any of those allegations, it would be a starting point for investigators to get information to eventually expose much that has been going on.”

Of course, Bowers didn’t say and no they aren’t being investigated.

Why on earth would Bowers investigate himself?

Bowers, like a crafty magician, needs some sleight-of-hand to divert our eye sight as he whisks the subject of chief officers having sex on duty with subordinates off the table.

Bowers’ abject failure to see and deal with the predatory sex issue is an example of moral and ethical failure and it is of epic proportions.

He failed Nicole Mittendorff and all members of the department.

Is Bowers just another horny guy in a firefighter’s uniform inclined to give a bro a pass?

Has he ever engaged in a relationship which overlapped with his official fire department duties and which constituted a serious ethical breach and conflict of interest?

If he did it could make him predisposed to fail this leadership test, and fail he has.

Don’t let Bowers play the magician.

Make sure the tough questions get asked, and answered.

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3 Comments

  • Rob Davis says:

    To the investigation committee or to whom this question concerns. Has anyone taken the time to analyze the suicide note found in Nicole’s car to be 100 % sure that it was in deed her own hand writing? I ask this because If the people who had been bulling her knew she was going to open up and let everyone know the truth about what really took place and expose everyone who were involved, just maybe this wasn’t a suicide after all but made to look like one. My common sense tells me this has already been examined and ruled out but if not, please make sure that no rock is left uncovered and all the important facts are brought forth before this case is settled. May the entire truth prevail itself and justice be served to all those involved and all necessary action be taken to prevent this type of tragedy from ever happening again. No one deserves to be treated this way no matter what position they hold in the work place. No excuses and no exceptions no matter who these people are or what position they currently hold. If they were involved in any way, even if they knew about what was taken place and choose to stand by in silence and did nothing to help the situation before it came to this, I would have to think these people would be found just as guilty for not speaking up that could have prevent this tragedy from happening. All of these people who were involved in any way have clearly dishonored the department and no longer deserve to be part of one of the finest Fire and Rescue Departments.

  • Karen says:

    Thank you for the opportunity to voice my opinion. It’s one which i feel is especially valid, as I speak from firsthand experience. Following should be made mandatory in-service training at every Station:

    The Fire Within: The Secret Battles of Female Firefighters – the fifth estate
    and
    The Invisible War

    It’s a start. Abuse stands a chance of being squelched, so long there is a tangible zero tolerance policy. We paid for it then and we are still paying for it now. Every time we see a sister in the service hurt by it, it only cuts our pain, certainly my pain deeper. Certain memories never go away. I feel it is probably a tragic, inescapable fact of life that there are always a few, whose aim it is to violate, manipulate, humiliate and intimidate. I just wonder how they can go home to their girlfriends, wives, sisters and daughters knowing the pain they’ve caused another human being?

  • Trudy says:

    My firefighter daughter has been harassed and discriminated against and treated unfairly for the 14 years she’s been a firefighter. She’s 38 years. Her dream since she was five years old wants to be a firefighter. She feels like she’s on the verge of a nervous break down. I googled, “ female firefighters being harassed or sexually harassed on the job”. She has hired an attorney and I sure hope he’s a good one. The chief did not handle the sexual harassment correctly. He just moved her to a different station . Even human resources department said he didn’t handle it correctly . He discriminates quite a bit . My daughter is a beautiful white woman in a fire department and a city that is mostly all black. I am so afraid for her and I am so worried about her that it is making me sick as well. Is there a website or someone she can talk to that can give her some moral support about this ?????

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