New SFFD Sex Harassment Allegations Shake Up Department’s Top Brass

SAN FRANCISCO (KPIX 5) — New sexual harassment claims are rocking the San Francisco Fire Department after one of the top brass was stripped of his title, leaving female firefighters worried that the scandals are giving them a bad name.

“Personally I’m offended by what’s going on and how female firefighters are looking,” Firefighter Catherine Swanson said.

This is just the latest case of sexual harassment in the department.

This one involves the number three man, Assistant Deputy Chief Ken Lombardi, now demoted to Captain with an accompanying cut in pay.

“I can’t comment on a personnel manner,” Chief Joanne Hayes-White said.

Lombardi was the head of support services for the department, in charge of equipment and earthquake preparedness.

Sources say there were several cases of sexual harassment involving a female civilian subordinate who worked in his department.

Lombaridi’s demotion comes on the heels of allegations last month of intimidation and hazing of a female firefighter at Station 2 in Chinatown.

Even the departments own women agree that this looks bad.

But, at Wednesday’s Fire Commission meeting, they say it shouldn’t, and implied the story is just beginning to unfold.

“As we let the story go on without full details, we allow it to tarnish our department and bond with brothers and sisters that has gone on almost 30 years,” Firefighter Adrian Simms said.



More from Emily Turner

One Comment

  1. Doug says:

    Emily, Ken Lombardi is NOT the number “three man.” The rank structure of the Department has the Chief Chief – JoAnne, two Deputy Chiefs: Operations and Administrative. The Assistant Deputy Chiefs which Ken Lombardi was one are administrative positions. When the position of ADC was created many years ago they do not have operations command authority. Any officer with the civil service rank of lieutenant or higher can be appointed to the rank. The rank of Deputy Chief of Operations and Deputy Chief of Administration must come from the civil service rank of Battalion chief or Assistant Chief to ensure operational command experience.
    Feel free to contact me for any additional info.
    Doug Goodin, SFFD Battalion Chief (ret.)

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