Firefighter dismissed over harassment charges

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The Lawrence Merit Board has voted to relieve veteran firefighter Michael Rude of his job following accusations he sexually harassed several women in the department. In a meeting that lasted until 1 a.m. Wednesday, the board heard testimony from several women and men. The witnesses described incidents of Rude’s walking into the women-only dorm of the fire station, making sexual comments toward female emergency medical technicians, and groping the wife of a captain at a holiday party.

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