South Sound News

Veteran Tacoma firefighter accused of using profane language toward women

TACOMA, Wash. — A veteran Tacoma firefighter and union president was suspended for allegedly making derogatory and profane comments about women.

But now he's back on the job, demanding that his suspension be overturned.

The news hit this neighborhood with a blast - a longtime firefighter and union president assigned to Tacoma Fire's Station 10, in hot water over his language toward women.

"I live right down the street," said Kinyoce Chatman. "Yeah, and I didn't know that."

And Chatman says he didn't like what he heard.

"There's a problem there," Chatman said. "People just don't act like that for no reason."

The allegations against Ryan Mudie surfaced in an anonymous complaint filed with Tacoma Fire last February.

Documents KIRO 7 obtained show officials hired an outside investigator. She concluded Mudie used profane street language toward women, including referring to them as "being on the rag."

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​"I think it's terrible," said Dierdre Marshall. "I think he's a punk. And he ought to be suspended. And he ought to be sent to counseling and get some help on that."

Tacoma Fire Chief James Duggan said Mudie's actions were "degrading and insulting and absolutely cannot be tolerated." Duggan said it was difficult "to justify allowing you to remain in the workplace."

But he said he hoped a suspension would be "an opportunity for you to correct and cease any offensive or inappropriate behavior."

Mudie's lawyer shot back. The union "does not believe that any disciplinary action against Mr. Mudie is warranted," he wrote. He accused the city of "failing to comply" with their bargaining agreement and a "lack of just cause." With that, Mudie filed a grievance.

"I think he should have been fired for it," said Sharon Gooden of Tacoma. "Because he's helping women all the time. So then there's going to be some conflict of interest for him."

But Chatman believes Mudie needs counseling.

"Right, get up in those classes," he said. "But they should make it mandatory, though, so he can really get some help."

Mudie completed his suspension late last year. But this is not the first time he has been in trouble.

In 2005, he was suspended two shifts after he was arrested for boating under the influence at SeaFair.