Austin Firefighter Sues City and Peeping Lieutenant

The Austin firefighter who was victimized by a voyeuristic lieutenant who secretly filmed her, has filed suit naming him and the city as defendants.

Kelly Gall filed suit in Travis County District Court on Monday. The complaint is not available so the full extent of the legal allegations are not known. According to the Statesman.com, the lawsuit accuses the city of being aware of prior complaints of sexually inappropriate behavior by Lieutenant James Baker and failing to take sufficient measures.

  • “The city knew or should have known of the harassment based on previous complaint(s) related to Baker’s inappropriate sexual behavior.”
  • “Baker’s sexual harassment was sufficiently severe/and or pervasive as such that it altered the conditions of Gall’s employment and created an abusive working environment.”

Baker was sentenced earlier this month on criminal charges that he placed a hidden camera in the women’s locker room and secretly filmed Gall while dressing and in the shower. He was given 5-year deferred adjudication sentence, meaning if he remains out of trouble for 5 years, the charges will be dismissed. The lenient sentence angered Gall and IAFF Local 975 President Bob Nicks, who called it a slap on the wrist.

Baker resigned last year shortly after the allegations surfaced. More on the story.

About Curt Varone

Curt Varone has over 40 years of fire service experience and 30 as a practicing attorney licensed in both Rhode Island and Maine. His background includes 29 years as a career firefighter in Providence (retiring as a Deputy Assistant Chief), as well as volunteer and paid on call experience. He is the author of two books: Legal Considerations for Fire and Emergency Services, (2006, 2nd ed. 2011, 3rd ed. 2014) and Fire Officer's Legal Handbook (2007), and is a contributing editor for Firehouse Magazine writing the Fire Law column.
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