Male firefighters say city manager & mayor video treated them as sex objects

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(Note: Previously I wrote this involved the mayor and fire chief. It has been corrected to indicate it was the city manager and not the mayor.)

The fire chief and city manager in San Luis Obispo, California are apologizing all over the place and an investigation is underway after employee complaints were filed over a video shown at a Chamber of Commerce dinner the chief emceed. Male San Luis Obispo firefighters say they were treated as sex objects. The department has no full-time female firefighters.

According to The Tribune, at least two employees have filed complaints and the union has called for an outside investigation. Here is part of the union press release:

Members of Local 3523 are disturbed, sad and embarrassed that the highest-ranking city officials blatantly demeaned their chosen profession and believed it appropriate to sexually objectify city firefighters both publicaly at the chamber’s annual dinner and to circulate the video on the internet

Nick Wilson & Matt Fountain, The Tribune:

A video shown at the San Luis Obispo Chamber of Commerce annual dinner on Jan. 20 in which chamber employees jokingly refer to “hot,” “full monty” and “shirtless” firefighters has resulted in at least two personnel complaints filed against the city, naming fire Chief Garret Olson and City Manager Katie Lichtig.

Olson, who emceed the dinner, conceived the idea for the video, and both he and Lichtig participated in it.

In an email to department heads and fire department employees, Lichtig wrote Sunday that she apologizes for the video and “will cooperate fully and accept the consequences” of the investigation.

On Monday, Olson told The Tribune, “I sincerely apologize to anyone I’ve offended with my comments and actions.”

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