Firefighters accuse supervisor of sexual harassment, abuse - wave3.com-Louisville News, Weather & Sports

Firefighters accuse supervisor of sexual harassment, abuse

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Camp Taylor Fire District and Deputy Chief Steve Adkins Camp Taylor Fire District and Deputy Chief Steve Adkins
Board Chairman Alan Lewis Board Chairman Alan Lewis

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - Two firefighters are accusing their supervisor of sexual harassment, a hostile work environment, retaliation and inflecting emotional distress.

George Givens and Michael Killebrew filed a civil complaint against Camp Taylor Fire District and Deputy Chief Steve Adkins.

During a news conference, Board Chairman Alan Lewis acknowledged there was a lawsuit filed. "We take this very seriously. We were proactive in getting an investigator independently to the people on staff of the fire department," Lewis said.

Last week, Lewis said the Board of Trustees hired EEO Guidance, Inc. to conduct an internal investigation.

Givens, Killebrew and Adkins remain full-time employees of Camp Taylor Fire District. "We will not take further action regarding their employment until the investigation is complete," Lewis said.

Deputy Chief Adkins declined to talk about the lawsuit and referred any questions to Lewis.

In the civil complaint, Givens and Killebrew accused Adkins of striking them in the groin area, physically threatened them about pursuing a position on the Board of Trustees and several allegations of physical harassment.

Killebrew also accused Adkins of slapping, grabbing and squeezing him which resulted in bruising.

The lawsuit states Adkins grabbed himself numerous times in front of both men when they asked for lunch breaks.

Lewis says so far, no other employees have come forward with similar complaints. "If there are other allegations they have not been made public to the board," he said. 

Givens also alleged the Deputy Chief of using racist comments when referring to African-Americans.

"We understand the serious nature of these allegations, and prior to the lawsuit being filed, the Board of Trustees had already initiated an independent investigation into the claims being made," Lewis said.

This is not the first time Adkins has found his name in a lawsuit. Back in 2004 an administrative assistant filed suit against his father, Camp Taylor Fire Chief Harold Adkins. She claims she was harassed by the both the chief and his son.

Lewis had no comment about this previous case, but says he is determined to get to the bottom of this current one. 

"I want to know all the facts," said Lewis. 

To read the lawsuit in its entirety, click here.

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