Disconnect: Female firefighters praise HFD, City approves $190k contract related to racism/sexism complaints

Image credit: Pixabay

Earlier in the week, Mayor Bill White met with over 20 female firefighters to discuss recent controversies in the department. Here is the takeaway line from Miya Shay’s reporting for KTRK-13:

“We’re being perceived like we’re racist, that there is sexual harassment, there’s gender discrimination,” said Iris Rodriguez with the Houston Fire Department. “That’s not the case.”


Well, that’s certainly some good news after a rocky few weeks!

Nevertheless, City Council yesterday approved a $190,000 contract for two law firms to review HFD’s grievance and equal-opportunity policies, just as we predicted they would do two weeks ago. In terms of specifics, we are not exactly sure what the review will entail, or why at least one management-consulting firm wouldn’t have been included, but The Houston Way is less about those sorts of questions than it is connections.

KHOU-11’s Lee McGuire reported some interesting quotes from Councilmember Jolanda Jones (who voted against the contract, saying “Something doesn’t smell right”), Councilmember Ron Green (who voted for the contract, despite lamenting the large amount of money going to lawyers instead of quality-of-life improvements), and Councilmember James Rodriguez (who voted against, wondering what the law firms will be doing exactly since HFD’s own investigation isn’t complete).

Bradley Olson has more coverage for the Chronicle. Meanwhile, KRIV-26’s Isiah Carey asks why HFD refuses to honor his related public information request.

Photo of HFD truck by flickr user finnadat, used via a Creative Commons license.

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Kevin Whited
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