Fire lieutenant appeals firing for sexual harassment

Jeffrey Silverstein, Monaghan’s lawyer, said Friday he had filed the appeal Thursday. “That’s all I can comment on,” he said in a voice mail.

According to records obtained by the Dayton Daily News under the state Sunshine Laws, Monaghan twice exposed himself to a female subordinate in his fire station office. Monaghan denies the allegations, claiming the woman had previously made inappropriate advances toward him.

The victim told investigators she was at the fire station April 4 prior to the start of the 7 a.m. shift, at the kitchen table with colleagues, when Monaghan rushed in and said, “I am drunk, so this is going to be a short roll call. I need to go get in the shower.”

The victim said Monaghan then joked that one of the male firefighters should join him in the shower in 10 minutes. Keeping in the spirit of the teasing, the victim said she offered, “What about me?”

Monaghan denied those statements.

The victim said Monaghan summoned her over the public address system to his office 10 minutes later. When she entered the office, Monaghan came out of the bathroom, wearing only a towel which he dropped, asking her, “Have you ever had sex in a firehouse?” and telling her to touch him. The victim said she left, but was later called back to Monaghan’s office. This time the lieutenant was in uniformbut was still exposing himself.

The victim said Monaghan had a second roll call after the incidents and told the firefighters, “Anything that happened this morning didn’t happen. Are we clear on that?”

“I don’t recall making that statement,” Monaghan told investigators when asked about the second roll call.

All but one of the firefighters interviewed told investigators either they could not remember or could not recall any of the details of the two roll calls or if there was a second roll call. One firefighter’s testimony mirrored that of the victim’s.

Monaghan told investigators he called the victim into his office that morning to discuss an off-duty encounter with her at a Watervliet Avenue restaurant Feb. 29. Monaghan said the victim approached him and suggested she wanted to have sex with him. He said she and another woman later led him into the women’s restroom. When the victim began to unfasten his belt, the other woman left, and he rejected the victim’s advances. Monaghan said he exited the restroom after the victim left. He bumped into another firefighter, who asked him what he was doing in the women’s restroom.

That firefighter told investigators she saw both the victim and Monaghan in the restaurant, but never saw the lieutenant leaving the women’s restroom.

Monaghan told investigators when the victim came to his office in April, they had just started to discuss the February incident when his phone rang. The victim, he said, left his office while he was on the phone.

The conclusion of the administrative hearing board was Monaghan was lying about the Feb. 29 encounter.

Silverstein, Monaghan’s lawyer, countered the off-duty incident had nothing to do with Monaghan’s job, and his statement should not be considered.

“It is related,” Fire Chief Herbert Redden responded, according to the transcript. “If, in fact, he made the statement that these chain of events in an administrative hearing or a fact-finding hearing while he is on duty and an employee of the city, it does have some bearing on this case as far as falsification.”

Silverstein also said not all the witnesses had been interviewed, including the woman companion of the victim who entered the restroom with Monaghan.

Other firefighters testified the victim was clearly upset following her meetings with Monaghan. She explained the situation to one firefighter, who urged her to take the incidents up the command ladder. The victim spent the remainder of the day at other fire stations, returning to Monaghan’s station late that night. The victim said she and her husband went on a scheduled vacation the next day. When she returned, she contacted her union president and a fire captain about the incidents.

That captain alerted fire administration and arranged the victim’s schedule to ensure she did not work under Monaghan, who was subsequently suspended with pay during the investigation prior to his Aug. 9 termination.

City officials have declined comment. “I’ll not comment on anything until this is all over,” Redden said Wednesday. The investigation is continuing.

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