The photographer behind the lens of a controversial photo shoot that played a role in the abrupt retirement of Holyoke's Deputy Fire Chief Timothy Moran spoke exclusively with CBS 3 Springfield following the incident.
"I don't think on that day he thought it was going to turn into anything," said photographer Amanda Jastrzebski.
She relived the June 11 photo shoot that at first, seemed harmless.
"It was so innocent," she said.
Days later it would play a role in Moran's retirement.
Three weeks ago she was hired by a group of fitness models to shoot for their portfolio.
They had been taking photos around the city all day when their paths crossed with Moran.
"He came up to me and was like, 'do you want to come shoot at the fire station?' And we said ok, that's fine," Jastrzebski said.
She and the models spent 25 to 30 minutes at the fire department headquarters on High Street, using storage equipment as props and posing in front of fire trucks.
"If there was a call that came in we could have been off them in a second, we weren't inhibiting them in any way from doing their job," she said.
That's when she says they were approached, by who she assumed were fire officials asking her and the models to leave the property.
The next day, she received a call from the city solicitor's office.
"Telling me I needed to come down and sign a paper, give them a copy of my photos and I was asked to destroy my copies," she said.
Jastrzebski said the solicitor's office didn't want the photos getting out.
But days later, photos taken by bystanders were leaked.
"I don't think any of us would have done it if we thought it was going to turn into what it did," Jastrzebski said.
What followed was a five day suspension without pay for Moran.
Days later he suddenly retired.
Mayor Alex Morse confirmed to CBS 3 that the photo shoot played a role in his abrupt retirement.
That's why Jastrzebski said she felt compelled to come forward.
"I don't want his legacy as the assistant fire chief to end with being seen as a guy that was being irresponsible," she said.
Moran had already been investigated for his role in an incident last year in which his brother, also a firefighter, called in a false emergency resulting in a four-car accident.
Timothy Moran was never charged in connection with that accident.
Copyright WSHM 2012 (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.
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