Punishments softened for 3 demoted state fire captains

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SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — California's state fire department on Thursday agreed to soften the punishment of three former captains that stemmed from a high-profile scandal at its academy.

The three ex-captains, Salvador Bruno, Cole Periera and Michael Roe, all were demoted from fire captain to fire apparatus engineer earlier this year for drinking while on duty at cadet graduation celebrations, and allowing those they supervised to do the same. Bruno and Periera's demotions were to last a year or more, and Roe's was indefinite.

But under a settlement, the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection agreed to end their demotions after eight or nine months depending on the case, meaning with punishment already served all three will be captains again by mid-November, the Sacramento Bee reported (http://bit.ly/1JptHRp ). In addition, their files will be cleared of all evidence of the wrongdoing in three years.

In exchange for the reduced punishment, the three have agreed to drop their appeals and undergo new training on substance abuse.

The men are among 16 employees at Cal Fire's Ione Academy who were fired, demoted or quit as a result of the $2 million investigation that was launched last year after a battalion chief was accused of killing his girlfriend.

Battalion Chief Orville Fleming has since been convicted of second-degree murder and was sentenced last month to 16 years to life in prison.


Information from: The Sacramento Bee, http://www.sacbee.com

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