Details Emerge About Retaliation Suit Against Charlotte Fire

Additional details are emerging about the lawsuit filed today against the Charlotte Fire Department by former fire investigator Crystal Eschert.

Eschert filed the 75 page suit claiming that after she raised health, safety, and financial management concerns she was retaliated against by the fire department and terminated in September, 2014. Her termination was ostensibly over a post she made on Facebook stating: “White guy [was] shot by police…. So tired of hearing it’s a racial thing. If you are a thug and worthless to society, it’s not race – You’re just a waste no matter what religion, race, or sex you are.”

According to, Eschert’s attorney Meg Maloney released the following statement relative to the suit:

“Crystal Eschert has provided a detailed account of the retaliation against her by the Fire Department. We continue to be very troubled by the City’s failure to acknowledge the retaliation in violation of her First Amendment right to raise concerns about health, safety, and financial mismanagement, and engage in public debate. Rather than do the right thing and address the problems, we believe the City turned its sights on Crystal as the problem. Now we’ll ask a judge and jury to do the right thing.”

Here is a copy of the complaint: Eschert v Charlotte

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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