Tampa fire chief, two officials suspended over misconduct allegations

    Image credit: Tampa Fire Rescue via Facebook

    Josh Fiallo
    Tampa Bay Times

    TAMPA — Fire Chief Nick LoCicero and two top Tampa Fire Rescue officials were suspended over allegations of misconduct, the city announced Wednesday night.

    An internal investigation will be conducted into LoCicero, Division Chief of Training Susan Tamme and Training Officer John Muralt. The city said they are accused of “allegations of misconduct and a lack of supervisory oversight associated with the misconduct.”

    “The City will conduct a fair, thorough and expeditious investigation to determine the facts of what took place,” Mayor Jane Castor said in a statement. “I will take appropriate and swift action to address this issue while ensuring our community and taxpayers continue to receive the high level of service they expect and deserve.”

    No details about the allegations were released by the city.

    LoCicero has spent more than three decades with Tampa Fire Rescue and was the department’s assistant chief when former Mayor Bob Buckhorn tabbed him in 2018 to replace retiring chief Tom Forward.

    That year a women’s Facebook group with more than 15,000 members lobbied Buckhorn to instead choose Tamme to become the city’s new fire chief. She was the first woman to become a fire chief at Tampa Fire Rescue, has spent more than two decades there and already served as training division chief.

    That was weeks after a federal jury awarded firefighter Tanja Vidovic $245,000 in damages after finding that the city discriminated against her because she was pregnant and that the city retaliated against her when she complained.

    Castor said the allegations against the trio — whatever they may be — were not “a reflection of the department as a whole.”

    “We hold all of our employees to high standards,” she said. “This should not diminish the hard work and dedication of the men and women of our fire department who serve our community with dignity every day.”


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