- GOP hopes taking shutdown off the table with budget deal will pay dividends
- Chinese Death Star: The moon cited as the perfect launch pad for ballistic missiles
- Help wanted: Homeland Security plagued by vacancies at the top
- We are not amused: Queen’s protection officers warned to keep ‘sticky fingers’ off the royal cashews
- Unleash the crossbows: Gov. Scott Walker creates new hunting season
- Bubonic plague kills 20 in Madagascar
- G-20 diplomats fell for hacker attack promising nude photos of former French first lady Carla Bruni
- Minnesota guardsman charged with stealing private soldier data for fake IDs
- Florida appeals court rules universities can’t regulate guns
- Vladimir Putin defends Russian conservative values
Ellerbe gets vote of confidence
Gray cites ‘an exceptional job’
Mayor Vincent C. Gray on Wednesday offered a vote of confidence to D.C. Fire Chief Kenneth Ellerbe after a report detailing sexual harassment and intimidation complaints against Chief Ellerbe at his prior job in Florida.
Mr. Gray said Chief Ellerbe remains a qualified pick for the top post at the D.C. Department of Fire and Emergency Medical Services based on his extensive knowledge of the agency’s duties and operations.
Mr. Gray backed Chief Ellerbe after The Washington Times reported Wednesday on a sexual harassment complaint in the chief’s personnel file from the 16 months he served as fire chief in Sarasota, Fla., from late 2009 through the end of 2010.
Chief Ellerbe’s personnel file included a positive performance review, yet also contained written statements expressing concern that the chief leered at female employees and intimidated other employees. Chief Ellerbe, who served in the District for 27 years before taking the Sarasota job, has denied the accusations.
The mayor insinuated on Wednesday that the controversy over his hiring of a longtime friend and political ally whose personnel record went unchecked was somehow linked to a plan proposed by Chief Ellerbe to change firefighters’ schedules from 24-hour to 12-hour shifts. The plan, which is supposed to keep a ready-and-waiting force near the District and reduce the number of days off between shifts, has been criticized by the D.C. firefighters’ union as a drastic measure that will force many firefighters to choose between their jobs and their out-of-state homes.
Chief Ellerbe on Wednesday appeared before the D.C. Council’s Committee on the Judiciary to answer questions about a number of ongoing issues within the department. Attempting to counter the “misinformation” that has created tension within the department, he addressed issues such as the need for a single uniform and logo policy and the whereabouts of new ambulances that have not yet been put into service.
“When these statements are made a lot of times they are made with incomplete information,” Chief Ellerbe said in response to Judiciary Committee Chairman Phil Mendelson’s questions. “The units are there but until we pay for them we can’t legally put them on our roster and put them on the street.”
Additionally, Chief Ellerbe’s staff testified that employees still need to be trained to drive the new, larger ambulances and to use new technology on the units.
After the hearing, Chief Ellerbe spoke briefly on the sexual harassment complaint lodged in Sarasota, saying that public leaders often have to deal with unfavorable allegations.
“I never meant to or intended to harass anyone,” he said.
© Copyright 2013 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.
About the Author
Tom Howell Jr. covers politics for The Washington Times. He can be reached at email@example.com.
- In rare bipartisan move, Congress tackles long-standing Medicare issue
- White House improvises again on patchy Obamacare rollout
- Key Obamacare official: Last two months much harder than anyone hoped
- HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius calls for review of Obamacare rollout woes
- More than a quarter million sign up for Obamacare in November
Latest Blog Entries
- Calif.: Give 'gift of health' by pledging cash for the uninsured
- Tensions hit boiling point over Obamacare enrollment figures, error rates
- Young, uninsured adults vital to Obamacare are not keen on enrolling: New Harvard poll
- Paul Bunyan and Babe the Blue Ox will promote Obamacare at Mall of America
- HealthCare.gov employs a new look once again
Andrea Noble is a crime and public safety reporter for The Washington Times. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Teen thugs in D.C. run wild -- even while wearing GPS ankle bracelets
- Snow, ice leave thousands without power in D.C. area
- D.C. police officer linked to prostitution ring
- Wal-Mart greets first customers in D.C.
- No money sought for new D.C. firetrucks deemed 'oversight'
Latest Blog Entries
By Mangosuthu Buthelezi
Memories of a long brotherhood tempered in common struggle
- NAPOLITANO: A conspiracy so vast
- Comma on!: Twitter erupts over Obama-Castro 'marriage'
- Obama's Afghanistan experts stumped on U.S. death toll, war costs during hearing
- Biden guarantees victory on immigration reform
- House votes for bargain to end budget drama
- Jane Fonda Foundation fails to make single contribution in 5 years: report
- Obama takes 'selfie' at Mandela's funeral service
- Spike in battlefield deaths linked to restrictive rules of engagement
- Atheists smug as Hindus join Satanists to demand display at Oklahoma Statehouse
- American bourbon now better than Scottish whisky: U.K.-born expert
Independent voices from the The Washington Times Communities
Consummate traveler Todd DeFeo explores the unique stories that make destinations worth going to.
Covering the world of soccer, including the World Cup, Major League Soccer, D.C. United and the English Premier League and other interesting sporting events.
Born in 1930 in rural Missouri, Charles Vandegriffe, Sr., brings his time and place to the Communities.
Columns from Voices around the World talking about the events, people, politics and social issues that concern us wherever, and whoever, we are.
Extraordinary day at Redskins Park
White House pets gone wild!
Let it snow