Sixteen California firefighters have been placed on paid administrative leave following an investigation into alleged incidents of sex on state fire trucks. The lurid allegations came to light during the murder investigation of Orville Fleming, fire academy instructor and battalion chief for the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection. Fleming was charged with murder after his escort-turned-girlfriend was found dead last spring.
Fleming’s estranged wife told authorities she had seen a sex tape showing the victim, Sarah June Douglas, 26, having sex with her husband and other firefighters on fire trucks. CalFire spokeswoman Janet Upton said claims of a sex tape were “unfounded” and prostitutes were not used on state time or equipment.
Sarah June Douglas, 26, was found stabbed to death in the home she shared with Orville Fleming in May 2014.
Upton said the firefighters were placed on paid leave due to suspicion of “a variety of policy violations unrelated to allegations of a sex tape.” However, CalFire asked the California Highway Patrol to investigate because of the seriousness of the allegations. MailOnline reports that the findings of that investigation will be released shortly.
“If there are employees who broke protocols or procedures with academy or department policies, that’s a very sad situation that nobody’s proud of,” commented Mike Lopez, president of the union representing the suspended firefighters. The majority of the men placed on leave were from the same department as Fleming, which is located approximately 40 miles southeast of Sacramento.
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Orville Fleming, fire academy instructor and battalion chief for the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection, has been charged with murder for the stabbing death of his escort-turned-girlfriend.
No further details have been disclosed and it is unclear whether the union would fight on behalf of any suspended firefighters who might wish to appeal the disciplinary action. MailOnline revealed further details regarding the relationship between Fleming and Douglas:
Orville Fleming was arrested following a two-week manhunt after Douglas’ body was discovered in the home they shared.
The couple of two years allegedly met through an escort site, and police said at the time of Fleming’s arrest that he may have used that same site to meet another woman shortly after Fleming was murdered.
Both Douglas’ mother and sister knew she was dating Fleming, who filed for divorce from his wife in October 2013.
The two were waiting for his divorce to be finalized before tying the knot.
Fleming has pleaded not guilty to a murder charge. He is scheduled to appear in court again in March. His attorney has denied finding a sex tape as part of the investigation into his client.