Three Houston Firefighters Terminated for Racial Notation in Report

3 Houston firefighters have been terminated over a racial slur that appeared in an incident report submitted last March, 2010. The discipline has prompted an angry response from the firefighter’s union who contends that the investigation was shoddy, and asks a very legitimate question: how can three members have been convicted of writing something that at best, only one person could possibly have done?

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The challenges of investigating and charging firefighters with misconduct from the department's side, and defending firefighters from the union's side, is covered in depth in our 2 day program Fire Department Administrative Investigations and Enforcing Discipline. There is always two sides and it will be interesting to follow this one!

About Curt Varone

Curt Varone has over 45 years of fire service experience and 35 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, 4th ed. 2022) and Fire Officer's Legal Handbook (2007), and is a contributing editor for Firehouse Magazine writing the Fire Law column.

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