Three Polk County Fire Rescue employees were fired and another was suspended without pay as a result of an investigation into their alleged inappropriate behavior.
Polk County officials say their investigation, which began in January, confirmed allegations Michael Choate, Trampas Fletcher, Shellie Krauklis and Michael Tomlinson had engaged in sexual misconduct while on duty and on county property.
Investigators say they also found sufficient evidence Choate, a deputy chief, sent and received inappropriate text messages on his county-issued cell phone
In a five-page report released by the fire department, officials say medical supervisor Shellie Krauklis engaged in sex acts with medical supervisor Michael Tomlinson and battalion chief Trampas Fletcher, and she also exchanged inappropriate text messages with deputy chief Michael Choate.
The report says Krauklis engaged in sex acts multiple times with Tomlinson and Fletcher while on duty, though their separate accounts differ on how often and to what extent.
The report says Krauklis admitted to as many as 15 encounters with Fletcher, who conceded he engaged in sex acts while on duty.
Channel 9 also learned that Krauklis sent and received sexual text messages from Deputy Chief Michael Choate but he never made physical contact with him.
According to the county, at least one of the physical encounters happened where the ambulances are stationed.
Meanwhile, across the street, Choate was sending and receiving text messages on his county cellphone.
While Choate wasn’t fired, he was suspended for a week, costing him about $2,500 in lost wages.
“We’re all human,” said Cash. “These are good employees that made a bad decision.”
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