Bulova: ‘Bad actors’ in Fairfax Co. fire department lead to call for outside audit

WASHINGTON — Fairfax County leaders recommended an independent audit of the fire department following allegations and a civil rights lawsuit filed by a female firefighter alleging sexual harassment and mismanagement.

Sharon Bulova, chair of the Board of Supervisors, said the public deserves a third-party assessment of the culture of its fire and rescue department.

“I don’t want anyone to think we think bad behavior is pervasive but we do want to make sure where it exists we address it,” she said.

The board is actively looking for a consultant who knows the fire industry and can give the public an accurate report.

“Every once in a while we have bad actors and they spoil things for the majority of very good people,” Bulova said.

In the last six weeks, Guy Morgan, who heads the department’s Professional Standards Office, was placed on administrative leave following discovery of inappropriate online posts, and Fire Chief Richard Bowers launched an investigation into firehouse cyberbullying following firefighter/paramedic Nicole Mittendorff’s suicide.

Megan Cloherty

WTOP Investigative Reporter Megan Cloherty primarily covers breaking news, crime and courts.

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