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Firefighters Speak Out About 'Porn Star Ball' Scandal

Seven Firefighters Suspended Following Incident

POSTED: 8:31 am PDT July 26, 2004
UPDATED: 8:46 am PDT July 26, 2004

SACRAMENTO, Calif. -- Firefighters from Sacramento's Station 20 spoke to KCRA 3 over the weekend about how the tide of public opinion has turned in the wake of the "Porn Star Ball" scandal.

Seven firefighters from the station were suspended after they attended the July 2 event at the Radisson Hotel while on duty.

The firefighters at Station 20 said they wanted to speak with KCRA 3 to remind people of the good work they do. They chose firefighter Hooman Ghazanfari as their spokesman.

"We work hard ... we put our lives on the line. We want the community to remember that ... that we do that for them every day," Ghazanfari said.

The firefighters said they've been jeered in public since the scandal, often asked "where's the party," even called rapists.

Ghazanfari said he understands the public's frustration.

"They have a right to be upset. It's an unfortunate thing that happened. They see the engine, uniform, and badge ... they feel like they have to vent," he said.

One firefighter -- a 10-year-veteran -- faced allegations of sexual assault, but the district attorney said last week that no charges would be filed. He has resigned from the department.

Ghazanfari called his absence a big loss for the station, and for the community.

"He's organized toy drives, food drives where we've fed homeless people," Ghazanfari said.

Firefighters said morale in the department has been up and down "like a rollercoaster" in the wake of the scandal.

The city is still conducting an internal investigation into the "Porn Star Ball" incident.

On Tuesday, the city council will consider whether to appoint a task force to review the fire department's operations.

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Copyright 2004 by TheKCRAChannel. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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