JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The city of Jacksonville has fired a veteran firefighter accused of making sexual advances toward a minor, News4Jax learned Monday.
Last Friday, the city’s human resources department notified the Jacksonville Fire and Rescue Department that it could move forward with the termination of Lt. Renaldo Lampkins, who was suspended without pay following his arrest last fall, a city spokesperson confirmed via email.
“He was terminated for ‘Conduct Unbecoming,’ because the charges for which he was arrested constituted felony and misdemeanor offenses involving moral turpitude under the criminal laws of the State of Florida,” Fire Chief Keith Powers said in a statement.
Lampkins was arrested Sept. 23, 2020, on a warrant charging him with a felony count of attempted unlawful sexual activity with a minor and a misdemeanor count of contributing to the delinquency of a minor, according to Duval County court records.
The 48-year-old, who’s been with the fire department 17 years, has pleaded not guilty to those charges. Under the terms of his release, Lampkins was ordered to have no contact with the victim and witnesses, along with any minors.
Attorney Hank Coxe, who represents Lampkins, issued this statement in response to his client’s firing:
“Mr. Lampkins has consistently denied any wrongdoing with respect to these allegations, and we both agree it is not an issue for local news.”
The charges stem from a complaint that the lieutenant made sexual advances toward the underage victim during an April 16 visit to her family’s home. The victim told investigators that Lampkins kissed her, asked her to place her hand on his crotch and offered to buy her a sex toy, among other allegations. The victim’s mother told News4Jax at the time that she was devastated after learning of the allegations. She said she only found out about it after another parent intercepted a text message the victim exchanged with another child.
Reached for comment Monday, the victim’s mother said she’s glad to see results from the case, adding that she believes it will send a message about the seriousness of the allegations against Lampkins. “My daughter is so brave and wants to see everything to the end, even it it means she has to stand in a room, in front of a judge, with Mr. Lampkins present, and sharing her story,” the victim’s mother said.
Lampkins’ arrest came a little bit more than a year after a woman accused him of rape, though he was not charged with a crime in that case. Court records show the woman sought a restraining order in July 2019, saying Lampkins “forcibly raped her at his home” in March 2019. A judge awarded and later extended that restraining order.
Chief Powers previously told News4Jax that the fire department took steps to make sure Lampkins did not have any contact with the public while he was under investigation in that case. Powers said Lampkins was later allowed to resume regular duties when those allegations did not lead to criminal charges.