Marco Island Fire Department requests CCSO investigate sexual misconduct claims
In response to claims of sexual impropriety, the Marco Island Fire-Rescue Department has requested an investigation by the Collier County Sheriff's Office.
Fire-Rescue Chief Mike Murphy made the announcement Wednesday after an article by the Naples Daily News revealed details of a case involving a now-former firefighter sending pictures of his genitals to a minor as well as possible involvement by others at the department.
"Based upon yesterday’s Naples Daily News article we have requested the Collier County Sheriff’s Office (CCSO) to open an investigation concerning the allegations," Murphy wrote in a prepared statement. "The City of Marco Island takes very seriously allegations and violations of public trust as previously shown. As always, we will work closely with CCSO and take appropriate action upon being provided with credible evidence."
Along with Nicholas Macchiarolo's admission to CCSO detectives that he did sent lewd photos and videos to a minor, he told Marco Island investigators during an internal affairs interview that the victim told him that she had been sexually active with a fire captain.
While he initially faced three felony charges, Macchiarolo pleaded no contest to the third-degree felony charge of unlawfully using a two-way communication device to facilitate or commission a felony.
He was terminated by the department shortly after entering his plea.
A person in contact with the victim also provided the Daily News with screenshots of a conversation that includes what appears to be another firefighter attempting to arrange a meetup. The Daily News had provided the fire department with a screenshot and text message on June 10, more than two weeks prior to publishing its story.
A prosecution report obtained through a public records request includes digital evidence that Macchiarolo sent and received graphic photos and videos from the minor.
While Macchiarolo denied any physical sexual contact with the minor, he did state that he had sex with multiple people in a gym used by police and fire employees when asked why his semen may be present.
Macchiarolo described the gym as “where everyone comes to hook up.”
Following Macchiarolo's arrest, the fire department paid a human resources consultant $9,000 for services that were described as “training seminars and disciplinary action support,” according to an invoice obtained through a public records request.
In April, the city of Marco Island was served notice of a potential lawsuit from an attorney representing the family of the victim.
The notice of claim against the city and Macchiarolo for damages resulting from negligence as well as the intention to investigate any further involvement of individuals related to the crime.