Kansas Deputy Chief Settles Claims Against Union

A former duty chief with the Topeka Fire Department has settled a portion of her federal gender discrimination lawsuit by dismissing the union from the action.

Deputy Fire Chief Kathy Petty was terminated from the department in February, 2010 during what was termed a budget-driven workforce reduction exercise conducted by the city. She claims the city’s real motive was sexual discrimination and retaliation, and filed a $1.3 million suit against both the city and IAFF Local 83, who she claims supported the city’s actions against her.

The Topeka Capitol Journal is reporting that Chief Petty has reached a mediated settlement with IAFF Local 83, and Local 83 has been dismissed from the case. The terms of the settlement have not been disclosed but the paper quoted a court order as saying: “Plaintiff entered into a settlement with Local 83 but the mediation was not successful regarding Plaintiff’s claims against Defendant City of Topeka. Plaintiff and the City have not exchanged further settlement proposals since the mediation.”

More on the story.

More on the original suit.

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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