TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) - A former Tucson Fire Captain demoted accused of sexual harassment and assault while on the job. A group of people met Friday night to consider giving former fire captain, Sloan Tamietti his rank back.
A panel of seven people heard testimony from firefighters who worked closely with former Captain Sloan Tamietti and the victim whose name we are not going to disclose.
They're trying to determine whether to reinstate Tamietti as captain.
Tamietti's attorney Mike Storie admits his client did take part in horseplay.
"At some point, he gave the guy a bear hug. Put him on the couch, held one of his legs... it took all of 5 seconds," said Storie. "Then helped him back up and said, 'hey man, I'm just kidding and you're a good dude.'"
The incident happened last November. Tamietti was demoted a few weeks after that. According to reports, the captain was demoted because of lewd behavior that the victim calls a sexual assault.
We heard three former firefighters testify today about previous experiences with the two firefighters. They paint a different picture of the victim calling him an instigator.
Paramedic James Dean talked about the victim, "I was getting tired of getting choked from behind...It didn't bother me enough to complain to anybody but this isn't the first time I've talked about it."
Another fire captain testified comparing the victim to a 5 year old child saying "I've told him numerous times to chill out but he thought it was a game (talking about the victim)."
But Tamietti is still fighting to get his rank back.
"Sloan has taken responsibility for this and it's inappropriate," said Storie. "Given his position and given somehow this person took offense to it. In retrospect, it was not appropriate. But, certainly we don't think he deserves to be demoted."
No decision was made Friday night whether to reinstate Tamietti as captain. The hearing will resume later this month.
The city of Tucson declined to comment because the investigation is ongoing.
Tamietti is also at the center of a half million dollar lawsuit and is also facing three misdemeanor charges including assault and harassment charges.