Milwaukee fire cadets let go in sex harassment probe

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MILWAUKEE (AP) - Five male Milwaukee Fire Department cadets have lost their jobs following a sexual harassment investigation.

The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports the department launched an internal investigation into the cadets' conduct after receiving complaints Monday from several female cadets. The five male cadets were fired on Thursday.

An MFD spokesman referred an Associated Press request Friday for details on the female cadets' allegations to Assistant Chief Gerard Washington. He didn't immediately return a message.

MFD cadets are recent high school graduates selected for a two-year apprentice-style program to become firefighters. The annual starting cadet salary is $23,437.

A heavy equipment operator with the department, Michael Peden, was charged earlier this month with second-degree sexual assault after he allegedly groped a co-worker and gave her a poor evaluation after she complained.