LA Fire Chief Faces Tough Questions About ‘Inappropriate’ Pictures
LOS ANGELES (CBS) — Los Angeles Fire Chief Brian Cummings had very little to say when CBS2’s Suraya Fadel pressed him for answers a day after he announced his decision to do 120 hours of community service for once posing in racy photos on a fire engine.
On Saturday, our cameras were met with resistance when we approached him, but later he had this to say:
“As a fire chief, I’m the leader of this organization and I have to set an example. I have to lead from the front and taking accountability – actions that were 13 years ago, it’s important that my membership and the city of Los Angeles sees that I’m accountable for what I do.”
This past week, Chief Cummings came clean with Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa about what he’s calling inappropriate pictures taken 13 years ago while he served as captain back in 1998.
“He made a mistake and he’s willing to accept the consequences of that mistake. It was an incident that occurred 13 years ago, but a serious incident. He’s taken it seriously,” Villaraigosa said.
The 30-year veteran says he allowed other uniformed firefighters under his command to be photographed with a bikini-clad woman on the Venice boardwalk. A picture was also taken of the woman partially clad standing alone by the fire engine.
This latest scandal comes just weeks after the fire department launched an investigation into the allegations that two fire stations allowed engines to be used in a porn shoot three years ago.
The production crew told us they secretly started filming when they noticed the firefighters were away from the parked rig.
City officials confirmed the firefighters involved won’t face discipline because a provision in the city charter prevents the fire department from punishing employees for actions more than two years in the past.
The mayor tells Fadel code of conduct changes are already in motion.
“Our hope is that this will be a teachable moment for our firefighters,” Villaraigosa added.
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