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2 Texas Firefighters Fired Over Nude Photos of Men at Fire Station

VICTORIA, Texas -- Authorities fired two Victoria firefighters for violating the city's conduct policy following an investigation into a complaint about photos of naked men on display at their fire station, an official said.

The Victoria Advocate obtained copies of the montage of about 10 photos through an open records request after the city announced the firings Wednesday.

The racy photos, including men in sexually provocative poses, were displayed at Victoria Fire Station No. 2, the newspaper reported Friday.

A complaint about the pictures was filed with the city in March.

The city declined to release the names of the firefighters who were fired.

"To protect all parties involved in internal investigations, the city will not comment on individual cases," said O.C. Garza, a spokesman for the city of 63,000, located 110 miles southwest of Houston.

The incident violated the city's conduct policy, Garza said. Conduct that interferes with operations, discredits the city or is offensive to customers or fellow employees will not be tolerated, according to the city.

Greg Mitchell, president of the Victoria firefighters' union, also declined comment.

"I would like to make a comment on this situation but, unfortunately, since the parties involved are not association members, city policy prohibits me from doing so," said Mitchell.
City employees are trained on city policies, Garza said.

"If an incident occurs that signals a need for additional emphasis on specific policy expectations, we will prepare and deliver training to remind our workforce of the expectations of being a city employee," he said.

Casey Akins, a University of Houston-Victoria criminal justice professor, says policies are essential for establishing an expectation of responsible behavior in the workplace.

"Harassment doesn't stem from sexual attraction, as is commonly thought," Akins said. "It usually stems from a desire on the part of the harasser to demonstrate power over the victim, to show that they have the ability to intimidate, demean, denigrate or shame another individual."

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