L.A. Councilman Questions $2.7M Firefighter Settlement

Firefighter Tennie Pierce filed the racial discrimination suit after he was fed dog food which his crew claimed was a prank.


The Los Angeles City Council voted down a motion Tuesday to examine a $2.7 million settlement issued to a firefighter.
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Firefighter Tennie Pierce received the settlement after filing a lawsuit alleging that he suffered racial discrimination and was humiliated by his colleagues and supervisors.
The council voted 11-1 last week to approve the $2.7 settlement.
Pierce said a fire captain and other firefighters played a prank by feeding him dog food. He said he suffered retaliation for reporting the incident to Los Angeles Fire Department supervisors.
Councilman Dennis Zine cast the lone dissenting vote. On Tuesday, Zine's motion to examine the settlement was not approved. He said he raised the issue after the discovery of photographs in which a man who resembles Pierce is seen participating in what appears to be hazing.
Zine said the photos, received from an outside source by Radio Station KFI, should have been brought to the council before the settlement was approved.
Genie Harrision, Pierce's attorney, issued a statement Tuesday about the photos. She did not deny that Pierce is the person in the photos.
"The issue of whether Mr. Pierce participated in stationhouse pranks was litigated in the case and was taken into account in determining the settlement."
In addition to the settlement, Pierce will be placed on paid administrative leave until April, when he reaches his 20th anniversary with the department. After that, he will be eligible to collect retirement benefits.
Pierce's claim was one of several cited in a pair of audits released in January, alleging a pattern of harassment and discrimination against women and racial minorities working for the department.

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