Texas Female FF Files Harassment Suit

HOUSTON --

A female Houston firefighter who was the subject of sexist and racist graffiti is suing the city of Houston for sexual harassment, KPRC Local 2 reported Tuesday.

Jane Draycott and fellow firefighter Paula Keyes said their lockers were vandalized at Station 54 in July.

Draycott filed suit against the city on Monday, alleging that she has endured years of sexual harassment.

The lawsuit states, "Draycott has long suffered harassment at the hands of HFD because of her gender. Yet each time she complained of harassment, she was retaliated against for complaining."

The lawsuit also lists an instance of unwanted sexual advances from a fellow firefighter against Draycott.

Draycott's attorney said she filed the suit to change the hostile work environment at HFD.

"She didn't want to file anything. My God, she wanted to get this resolved as peacefully and quietly as possible," attorney Joe Ahmed said. "Nothing ever got solved and still hasn't to this day. And so, now she is at the last step, which is filing a lawsuit."

The Office of the Inspector General conducted an investigation about the graffiti incidents, but did not find a suspect.

Draycott and Keyes said they found racist and sexist graffiti, as well as the word "die" scrawled over a photo of Draycott's daughter who died in a traffic accident.

Since the incident, HFD Chief Phil Boriskie resigned and two captains at Station 54 were transferred.

"I believe the environment has absolutely changed or I wouldn't be expecting her back to work," Houston Mayor Annise Parker said.

The mayor said important changes have been made in the department and more are coming.

Parker said Draycott agreed last week to return to work at Station 54.

Draycott's attorney said that is still not certain and that she still wants to know who is responsible for the incident that started it all.

"There is no indication that we'll ever know. So, the best thing that I can see and I strongly urged all the parties last week is we get back to work," Parker said.

The mayor said the city will fight Draycott's lawsuit, which asks for unspecified damages.

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