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Milwaukee Fire Department terminates 5 cadets following harassment complaints

MILWAUKEE (CBS 58) -- The Milwaukee Fire Department terminated five fire cadets on Thursday.

According to the department, the administration investigated sexual harassment and unprofessional conduct in the workplace complaints filed December 18. The complaints were filed by several female cadets.

The department says it takes harassment claims very seriously and has several policies in place to provide a safe work environment for its members.

It is the latest demonstration by the fire department to show it can get its house in order after the prosecution of a supervisor for alleged harassment of a minority subordinate.

Michael Peden, 35, is accused of making racists comments to his Hispanic co-worker in May.

The criminal complaint also says he would call her names and gave her a poor performance review.

In September, the woman claims Peden blocked her inside a station hallway and forced her into unwanted sexual conduct.

The complaint goes on to say a station captain knew about the activity and that fire officials received at least three complaints.

Stay with CBS 58 as we continue to learn more about this developing story.

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