Investigation for sexual misconduct ends in termination

By Nick Blank
Posted 10/3/18

GREEN COVE SPRINGS – A Clay County Fire Rescue battalion chief has been fired for inappropriate text messages sent to a female employee.

After an investigation, Raleigh Zike Fleming Island …

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Investigation for sexual misconduct ends in termination

Posted

GREEN COVE SPRINGS – A Clay County Fire Rescue battalion chief has been fired for inappropriate text messages sent to a female employee.

After an investigation, Raleigh Zike Fleming Island Station 22 battalion chief, was placed on administrative leave with pay in early July. Clay County Fire Chief Lorin Mock recommended the termination.

County Manager Stephanie Kopelousos told Clay Today last week about Zike’s firing. In a termination letter, Kopelousos wrote Zike acted poorly for a county employee in a leadership position.

“Anything less than termination would signal a degree of tolerance on the part of the county regarding such offenses that would be entirely inappropriate, insupportable and inconsistent with the mission of the Department and the County,” Kopelousos said.

According to the investigation, Zike texted a woman in his department about hanging out with him at a Vilano Beach hotel and sent a shirtless picture of himself to the woman. He promptly apologized to the woman and stated he had been drinking and thought she had broken up with her boyfriend.

“Yeah no that’s not cool,” she replied.

Then the woman’s boyfriend and Zike later exchanged messages.

“Damn man i [sic] sure hope my dumb [expletive deleted] didn’t start a [expletive deleted] storm. God I’m such an idiot when i been drinking,” Zike said.

“Naw man, I’m good,” The boyfriend replied. “You didn’t know. We’ve been together this whole time and have never been broken up.”

The woman notified Clay County Human resources after the exchange. She told investigators Zike asked her for sex in the past and told other employees, in front of her, that she rejected his advances. She said Zike also made a comment to her about talking to female volunteers and new hires, “…about the possibility of being approached sexually by coworkers,” according to the investigation.

Investigators found that misconduct took place between Zike and the complainant.

“Battalion Chief Zike’s conduct is unbecoming of an employee in his position and adversely impacts the Department and the County,” investigators said.

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