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Wednesday, May 22, 2024 | Back issues
Courthouse News Service Courthouse News Service

Documents Show Troubles at Cal Fire

SACRAMENTO (CN) - A Cal Fire chief and two firefighters have been disciplined for acts ranging from solicitation of prostitutes to drinking on the job and other sexual behavior, according to documents released by the State Personnel Board.

The state board appeal documents show that Assistant Chief Scott A. Henry was demoted on Jan. 31 after admitting to using his state-issued cell phone to solicit and schedule sexual escorts.

Henry dropped his appeal on the charge of using his state-issued car to drive to hotels to have sex with the escorts and admitted meeting escorts in downtown Sacramento on "10-12 occasions" the document states.

A total of 15 employees were disciplined by the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection, aka Cal Fire, including two firings after an investigation started by the California Highway Patrol.

The investigation stems from the May arrest of Cal Fire Battalion Chief Orville Fleming, who worked at the Ione academy, and is accused of killing his girlfriend Sara Douglas.

Fleming's wife alerted officials to a possible sex tape filmed at the Ione academy and the CHP opened an investigation. The CHP said it spent $2 million investigating the Ione academy, 40 miles southeast of Sacramento, and that though it did not find a sex tape, it found plenty of wrongdoing.

The documents released to Courthouse News reveal that a fire apparatus engineer was fired after being accused of forcing himself on a woman at a bar and drinking alcohol during a Cal Fire function. A woman said Timothy L. Edgmon accosted her at cadet graduation and that after she pushed him away, Edgmon held his penis "through an opened front zipper" and thrust toward her.

Fire Capt. Cole Periera was demoted for one year after drinking alcohol at cadet graduations in 2013 and 2014. Cal Fire bans drinking on the job or at any company function. Periera has appealed his demotion.

Henry and Periera are members of Cal Fire Local Union 2881, which said in a statement that they are "waiting to see what happens" and that it has no further comment.

"The CHP investigation brought to light the actions of a few individuals that violate the public trust. We are pursuing the disciplinary process to the furthest extent allowed. This type of behavior will not be tolerated," Cal Fire director Ken Pimlott said in a statement.

The lurid details of Henry's sexual exploits were made public when appealed his demotion to the State Personnel Board.

The documents detail Henry making appointments with escorts and accessing porn websites with his work cell phone.

The disciplinary appeal records provide insight into the Cal Fire Ione department, which ran amok under the leadership of Fleming and others. Fleming, 56, is accused of stabbing his 26-year-old girlfriend nine times. Police found him hiding in woods outside his home in Sacramento County.

Fleming is on trial in Sacramento Superior Court.

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