"Local 341 has won back the jobs and back pay for three Station 55 firefighters who were recklessly fired after a six-month City of Houston investigation failed to determine who entered an offensive phrase into a Patient Care Record (PCR) device nearly a year ago.
Station 55 firefighters Spencer Allred, Randall Ricks and Ryan Smith, who had become the first HFD firefighters in 30 years to reject disciplinary settlement offers from the city, adamantly proclaimed their innocence and asked Local 341 to fight the firings.
As you remember, Mayor Annise Parker told KTRK-ABC 13 in September that she supported then-Acting Fire Chief Rick Flanagan's firing of the firefighters regardless of their likely innocence. The mayor said, "If the firefighter who did this would stand up and acknowledge his action, we wouldn't be punishing two innocent firefighters, but we had to take a stand."
In overturning the indefinite suspensions of the firefighters, the arbitrator noted that:
• "All three [firefighters] were in good standing before the incident underlying this case, received good performance reviews, and did not have disciplinary records."
• "...[B]oth the City's primary investigator ... and ... Flanagan, admitted on the record that they had no evidence to show which of the Appellants - or even that any of the Appellants - entered or 'allowed to be entered' the racial slur into [the] PCR ..."
• "During his testimony, Chief Flanagan indicated that what he really wanted ... was a display of contrition. ... When that did not happen, he decided to terminate all three of them."
The two-day arbitration hearing -- led by Rick Mumey, our general counsel, and attorneys Troy Blakeney and Patrick Flynn -- also showed:
• The PCR device may have been in the possession of numerous other HFD and hospital personnel that were not investigated by the city.
• The offensive remark was entered into the PCR device at least an hour before the run in question.
• The City repeatedly interrogated and threatened the firefighters despite their proclamations of innocence.
Mayor Parker's decision to support and politicize the firings compounded one of the worst disciplinary blunders in HFD history, but through the efforts of the Local 341 and our attorneys, justice has prevailed. Along the way, the city has wasted thousands of taxpayer dollars, and forced undue economic and emotional hardship on the families of firefighters Allred, Ricks and Smith.
Welcome back, firefighters Allred, Ricks and Smith."
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02-26-2011, 10:33 AM #1
- Join Date
- Jan 2010
Three Houston Firefighters Get Their Jobs Back
02-26-2011, 11:43 AM #2
- Join Date
- Oct 2008
I would like to see some economic hardship hit the Mayor and Chief and flow towards the injured members.
Edit to add - If the chief knowingly let - at the very least - 2 innocent men be fired, he should be demoted and he should share with the mayor any legal repercussions for their hideous lack of judgement.
Last edited by Whocares; 02-26-2011 at 11:48 AM.Just a typical moronic, childish, idiotic munchkin.
02-26-2011, 04:18 PM #3
03-03-2011, 04:32 PM #4
I wonder what reprocussions "Chief" Flanagan's will face?
Let's see... 1) he admitted to firing folks without evidence to support the allegations; 2) he thought one was the culprit out of the three alleged so he fired all of them when he couldn't figure out "who done it?"; and 3) wanted them to issue an apology even though they maintained their innocence. I wonder when he'll apologize to the falsely accused?
I bet he "assessed" well during his promotional processes. After all, the "creme" always rises to the top, right?
Last edited by dfwfirefighter; 03-03-2011 at 04:47 PM.DFW
"There's no such thing as a free lunch."
03-04-2011, 01:45 PM #5
- Join Date
- Aug 2007
- Southern Indiana
There needs to be an investigation in the firing process the chief used.
Simply put - he ought to lose his job for this.
I am generally not in favor of unions but so long as we have idiots like this - they are very much still needed. In this case - there is not even a remotely reasonable defense for thier actions.
03-04-2011, 08:41 PM #6
- Join Date
- Jan 2010
Chief Rick Flanagan is a joke and an embarrassment to the Houston Fire Department. The handling of the Jane Dracott problems is just one other example of his incompetence. Without question the department would be better off without him.
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