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DC fire chief faced sexual harassment claim in Sarasota County, FL. Washington Times questions why Kenneth Ellerbe wasn't fully vetted by Mayor Vincent Gray.

Read Washington Times story on Chief Kenneth Ellerbe

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Read statement from Sarasota County Battalion Chief Joe Robinson

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The Washington Times published a lengthy story this evening looking at allegations of sexual harassment against DC Fire & EMS Department Chief Kenneth Ellerbe while he was chief in Sarasota County, Florida. The article, by Andrea Noble and Matthew Cella, also takes a closer look at the unusual arrangement that allowed Chief Ellerbe to still be a deputy chief in DC while employed in Sarasota County.

The reporters are asking the administration of DC Mayor Vincent Gray why Chief Ellerbe was not fully vetted and why his personnel file was not obtained from Sarasota County. They also asking why there was no national search for a fire chief.

Chief Ellerbe says the allegations were properly investigated by Sarasota County and denies there was any sexual harassment. He blames the complaints on the union in Florida.

The article is so detailed it is difficult to provide excerpts that would be fair to all sides. I suggest you read it in its entirety.

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Comments - Add Yours

  • FireBuffMI

    When I read "DC fire chief faced sexual assult claims" I thought great, just what DCFD(not fems btw) needs right now. Then I saw it was Ellerbe, and laughed out loud.
    I think its called Karma.

    • RJ (in florida)

      i just google mapped his address in sarasota…the condo is nice (for this area), cant get a bead on the other house he owns still lookin but sarasota has so many nice areas

  • J-Balls

    The union should call for his immeadiate resignation following his behavior there and now here.  We have but only a little pride left since he has been pecking away at our tradition and our name.  OPM wont release the records but our union has plenty.  Stand behind us local 36 and be heard now loudly and with one voice – GET OUT LRB!

    • Inside looking in

      You yourself can go to the executive board and bring forward a vote of no confidence. Stop hiding in shadows and waiting for someone else to do what you want done. Typical firehouse smack talker. You and everybody else had prime opportunity to testify against his nomination. Where were you?

  • DC Citizens are Priority #1

    A very impressive article that discusses the Cronyism that has corrupted the DC Government. It also begins to touch on the Vindictiveness and Intimidation factors that have been a constant pattern with the current DC FEMS Administrator. As I gather back in 2000, his massive transfer list driven by those two factors created while he served as Interim Chief was immediately annulled as the first order of business by the oncoming Chief, due to its controversial nature. Patterns tend to repeat themselves…stay tuned, I am sure there is more to come! This is not fair to the citizens of DC.

  • DResident

    Deny, Deny, Deny!!!! When is something going to be done about this douche bag chief?! Sure he is going to say it's all untrue, why wouldn't he. And Gray isn't going to do a damn thing since they are buddies! Both of them need to go NOW! God Bless all the District's firefighters! This is such a disgrace to the Nation's Capital

  • RJ (in florida)

    Dave, you sometimes put a smile on my face when i'm feelin low…i've allways wondered about how he got the job down here because under state law to be called "fire chief" you must possess a florida certificate of compliance unless your bossess skip around the law call you "chief adminitrator"…somebody need sto look into that…i'd like to tell my DCFD brothers and sisters that we have something in florida called the SUNSHINE LAW which means you can ask for (and by law they have to provide) ANY AND ALL PAPERWORK about your guy "in chiefs job" with some restrictions which includes "financals" so have at it and i'll be watching…BTW sarasota is nice this time of year and downtown( where his records are) is a few minutes from the beach. siesta key is worth the trip. 

    • BC 201

      Tom Lyons at The Herald Tribune should look into this from down here.

      • RJ (in florida)

        good idea BC…but will it help get him out of DC and whos waiting in the wings to take over and what do "they" have on their mind?

        • DC Citizen

          Hopefully they will check his file here in DC..I'm sure there is something in there to substantiate the allegations

  • In The Hood

    Say it isn't so……….vindictive, threats, harassment, and racism coming from LRB's mouth.   Why that can't possibly be true.  Thanks to the Washington Examiner for pursuing this fiasco.  Wonder where the other paper in town is while this cotinues to occur?

  • Fire3man

    GREAT! It's only a matter of time before this turd gets flushed once and for good!

  • 1dctaxpayer

     This is not the first incident he had at least one prior to leaving his post in D.C. and apparently D.C. does not fall under the F.O.I. go figure. The Times should also look into why he tried to promote his brother, and when he coulden't , promoted a captain who worked ,and publicly admitted working on gray's campaign committe.

  • Anonymous

    Let me get this straight…
    We disagree with his policies so his $100,000 per year department issued Tahoe driving PR guy calls us racists and now the Sarasota union didn't like him because he is African American? I'm sure it had nothing to do with him cutting minimum staffing levels to dangerously low levels well below NFPA standards.
    Oh, but wait! His excuse for his disrespectful behavior is his heritage? What are you saying chief? Is it all African American males who are disrespectful to women, or just those born in DC? Absolutely offensive!
    As for the mayor and his staff…
    He was vetted with a google search? Seriously? You chose the leader of a department with a $200 million budget, 2000 employes, and the mission of protecting the lives and property of the residents and visitors of the nations capital, as well as the president of the United States with a method I won't even choose a plumber with? What was wrong? Did your Angie's List account expire? Was Craigslist down? Seriously?!?!?!
    Im sure the fact that you have known each other since he was 14, that he worked with your campaigns in ward 7, and that he contributed to your campaign made even the minor things even that google search would turn up like his $600,000 work sharing scam and fraudulent homestead tax credit claim easy to overlook. 

  • Andy Nonomous

    After reading, this article there is nothing "new" to lrb's behavior pattern in both DC and FL.  What will be interesting is how he will 'dance" around this article.  One thing I would really like to know is when he said 'its part of my heritage to check people out…” what is that supposed to mean?  Is that a way to justify bad workplace behavior?

  • Former Chief

    This was a great article by the Washington Times.  Fair and honest reporting in my opinion.  I hope that they keep up their investigative reporting, it really substantiates the position of so many in DC and DCFD as to the character of this individual.  Hopefully, the issues involving this so called Chief will soon lead to his termination.  I would take RJ's advice in his post above.  Stay strong DCFD.

  • D.C.F.D. Baby

    Today, The Washington Times has put  new meaning to the word, "Hump Day" (Wednesday) for LRB.
    As often said, "You give a person enough rope, and they will hang themselves".

  • Jimmie

    Hey LON, can we get a statement on what is going on here please. I would love to hear your side of things because you educate me so much with your point of view. DCFD stay strong!

  • DCFD

    I went through a more rigorous background check as a new recruit. Or did google searches replace the blue book, fingerprints, and background check for recruits and cadets as well?

  • No, No My Brotha

    Part of my Heritage, What heritage? The "perv" heritage. Don't put this one on black folks. My brotha…Shhhh! Hey, I'm a red blooded man and like an attractive woman like the next guy. He has to understand he is leader. To lear and stare at an employee is an EEO 101 mistake. What…he didn't learn that while he was getting all his college degrees. Maybe it is call Common Sense.

  • mark

    Someone cue the circus music!

  • Jim Miller

    I wondered when this was going to hit the press! I knew he was fired in Sarasota.  Was a slug when he was in the DCFD before and still is now!

  • 95%er

    i heard the Rube is looking for work. LRB kinda makes Rubin look saint-like.

  • oldhead

    Where is everyone who said DCFD Firemen are crybabies who need to shutup and do what the fems administrator tells us to do??

  • anonymous

    Isn't that convenient how his personnel records are a secret.  Being an agency head there should be more leeway in having them checked.  Otherwise, he could have done this before, but due to the secret nature of the personnel records that basically covers up anything he may have done.  

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  • ukfbbuff

    My 2 cents from calif..
    After reading the article, seems that it looks like Ellerebe got his DCFD Chief's job through his relationship with Mayor Gray, who in a different article can't account for where all of the $800,000 million dollar "TARP" money went.
    So, it looks like Mayor Gray has made more than one "Goof". Hiring Ellerbe and not making a Nationwide Search and bad (if any) Book Keeping.
    One mistake after another.
    By the way, I know I'm tired of reading where Ellerbe seems to "Always" be the victim of one thing or another as the result of his; "Bully Tactics" or some other reason.
     Looks like if you, Change the DC Mayor (Gray) and the Ellerbe "problem'" would go away.