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    Affair of fire official, officer studied

    Officials say they had sex in department headquarters. He's suspended; she resigns.

    By MIKE BRASSFIELD
    © St. Petersburg Times
    published July 17, 2002


    ST. PETERSBURG -- A district fire chief and a police officer have gotten into trouble for having sex inside Fire Department headquarters.

    Roger Lane, one of six district fire chiefs in St. Petersburg, has been suspended from his job. Fire Department officials will decide whether he should be disciplined or fired.

    Diane Truong, a city patrol officer, has resigned. Truong would have been fired for her overall job performance if she had not quit, police officials said.

    St. Petersburg police officials gave the following account of the situation involving Lane and Truong:

    The two met on the job in 1999 and had a sexual relationship that ended badly in late 2001. After that, Truong accused Lane of stalking her, and Lane accused Truong of being violent with him.

    In May, the situation was brought to the attention of police officials, who began investigating.

    Both Lane and Truong told investigators they had repeatedly had sex at Fire Department headquarters while off duty, in a storage room or in a gym shower.

    Truong said they also had sex in Lane's office and sleeping area while Lane was on duty at Fire Station 10 at 2800 30th Ave. N. Lane vehemently denied it.

    Police officials investigated Lane's use of a city vehicle to take Truong with him to an out-of-town work seminar. They also looked into accusations that Lane and Truong used their city vehicles to chase each other's private vehicles.

    Police investigated accusations of stalking and violence, but prosecutors decided there was not enough evidence to file criminal charges.

    Lane recently quit his second job as a reserve police officer.

    On Tuesday, police Chief Chuck Harmon and other police supervisors decided that Truong and Lane had violated a number of department policies.

    Lane, a 24-year firefighting veteran, has been on administrative leave with pay since May, pending the outcome of the police investigation, said St. Petersburg fire Chief Jim Callahan.

    "I have not read the report yet. It was just finished today," Callahan said Tuesday night.

    Truong recently quit the Police Department. She had repeatedly been in trouble for failing to turn in vital paperwork in cases ranging from traffic crashes to child abuse arrests, her supervisor said.

    Neither Lane nor Truong could be reached for comment Tuesday.

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