Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations
Watch Live

Public Safety

16 California Firefighters Put On Leave In Sexual Misconduct Investigation

A Cal Fire decal is seen on the side of one of the state agency's vehicle.
Bob Moffitt / Capital Public Radio
A Cal Fire decal is seen on the side of one of the state agency's vehicle.

Sixteen state firefighters have been placed on paid leave in an ongoing investigation that grew out of what Cal Fire officials say were unfounded allegations of a sex tape.

Cal Fire spokeswoman Janet Upton told The Associated Press that the department placed the employees on leave Monday. The formal results of the California Highway Patrol investigation are expected early next month.

The investigation began in May after fire academy instructor and battalion chief Orville Fleming was charged with murder in the death of a former escort who became his girlfriend.


Fleming's estranged wife said she had viewed a video showing the victim having sex with firefighters on fire trucks.

Upton said investigators determined there was no tape. She said the allegations involve unrelated policy violations.

KPBS has created a public safety coverage policy to guide decisions on what stories we prioritize, as well as whose narratives we need to include to tell complete stories that best serve our audiences. This policy was shaped through months of training with the Poynter Institute and feedback from the community. You can read the full policy here.