San Francisco Fire Department Facing Another Harassment Scandal: Sources - NBC Bay Area
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San Francisco Fire Department Facing Another Harassment Scandal: Sources

Firefighters claim a captain regularly made sexist and racist remarks, and even inappropriately touched female firefighters.

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    NBC Bay Area has learned that the San Francisco Fire Department is facing yet another harassment scandal in its ranks. Jaxon Van Derbeken reports. (Published Thursday, Oct. 20, 2016)

    NBC Bay Area has learned that the San Francisco Fire Department is facing yet another harassment scandal in its ranks.

    The latest allegations involve a veteran captain who had been in charge of an elite rescue dive team housed at Station 7 in the city's Mission District.

    Jon Del Bino was a captain in charge of one of San Francisco Fire's elite rescue dive teams. Sources tell NBC Bay Area he is now the subject of a harassment investigation.

    The investigation was launched after Del Bino was told he could be suspended 10 days for allegedly ordering an African American firefighter to dive 30 feet past what he was certified to dive.

    After that probe, several firefighters under his command claimed Del Bino would routinely make disparaging comments about women and African Americans. There are also claims that he inappropriately touched female firefighters.

    SFFD Chief Joanne Hayes-White on Thursday would not comment specifically about the Station 7 probe.

    "We do have multiple investigations underway on a multitude of things, which is not unusual for a department this size of 1,500 members," Hayes-White said. "We're staying on top of things and I'm respecting the process that will run its course."

    The investigation is the latest in a series of recent issues for the department.

    NBC Bay Area was first to report the command shakeup at Station 2 in Chinatown after a female firefighter reported a pattern of intimidation and harassment by fellow firefighters.

    The alleged intimidation and harassment included someone urinating in her bed and feces being left in the women's locker room.

    The department is also investigating claims Ken Lombardi, who has been demoted from assistant deputy chief to captain, sexually harassed a civilian subordinate.

    And just this week Hayes-White issued a new bulletin requiring every member of the department to undergo sexual harassment training by the end of the year.

    "More training is good training," Hayes-White said. "We just want to make sure everyone has reinforced reminders that everyone is entitled to a workplace free of harassment."

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