TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) - A panel of citizens decided Monday afternoon to overturn Sloan Tamietti's demotion after sexual assault allegations surfaced.
The incident has already cost taxpayers in Tucson $125,000 after the city paid the victim as part of a sexual harassment claim.
Documents Tucson News Now obtained show Tamietti is accused of throwing the victim over the couch and straddling him. Then in another instance later that day, the victim claims Tamietti hit him on his backside after he had taken a shower. In addition, the victim said he was sitting at a computer desk and Tamietti came up to him, put one leg up on the desk and placed his private area against the victim's head.
On Monday, Tamietti spoke at the hearing, denying the sexual assault claims. Tamietti did admit to horseplay and said it was inappropriate. Other firefighters who testified in the past said horseplay is common at any firehouse in Tucson.
At times, Tamietti became emotional, saying he felt embarrassed, ashamed and shocked when he learned of his demotion. He said he never meant to make the victim feel uncomfortable and only wanted the victim to feel as though he was part of the team.
Tamietti also shared with the panel that he was honored twice for a swift water rescue and for stopping to help a family of nine who was involved in a roll-over accident while off duty.
In the end, the panel publicly discussed their reasoning for overturning the demotion. They said there was not enough improper conduct to hold Sloan to his demotion. One panelist called the incident "terribly inappropriate." She added there are a lot of pitfalls within the fire department that needed to be taken care of.
The panel decided to suspend Tamietti for 15 days without pay as his punishment. Tamietti is also facing three misdemeanor charges connected to the incident.