Who Voted For the LAFD Discrimination Settlement or For $2.7 Million I’d Eat Dog Food Too!

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This story has been peppering the local news for a few weeks now so chances are you’ve heard about it already, but let’s do a small recap just for the fun of it. Tennie Pierce is a LA Firefighter. One day he was in the station minding his own business eating his spaghetti and realized someone had added an extra ingredient – dog food. Pierce wasn’t so into this and took it as a case of racial discrimination and filed suit against the city. The defense argued that there was nothing racial, nothing personal about the park but rather it was just part of every day Fire Department hijinx. The City Council voted to settle and awarded Pierce $2.7 Million dollars to ease his pain. And that was almost the end of it, until a bunch of photos showed up picturing Pierce engaged in very similar “hazing” parks on other fire fighters at the stations. So it’s OK for him to do it to other people, but if anyone tries to get him back it’s racism, right? Probably not. So Mayor Villaraigosa stepped in and vetoed the settlement stating that “Given the magnitude of the recommended settlement, taxpayers have a right to demand a reconsideration with the full benefit of the facts.” Members of City Council are claiming they never saw the photos before voting for this settlement however after the photos did surface the council rejected a motion to reconsider.

Now, anyone who has friends or family who are fire fighters or has ever been to a station knows the places are one giant prank house. They have to be to keep sane. There are practical jokes being played on each other nonstop. How this guy Pierce thought he could participate and then sue when it happened to him is completely beyond me. Although it almost worked. So who voted in favor of the $2.7 Million settlement? Names after the jump…

Voted Yes:

District 1 – Ed Reyes

District 2 – Wendy Greuel

District 5 – Jack Weiss

District 8 -Bernard Parks

District 9 – Jan Perry

District 10 – Herb J. Wesson, Jr.

District 11 – Bill Rosendahl

District 12 – Greig Smith

District 13 – Eric Garcetti

District 14- José Huizar

District 15 – Janice Hahn

Voted No:

District 3 – Dennis P. Zine

Absent:

District 4 – Tom LaBonge

District 6 -Tony Cardenas

District 7 – Alex Padilla

[source: Larry Elder]

15 Replies to “Who Voted For the LAFD Discrimination Settlement or For $2.7 Million I’d Eat Dog Food Too!”

  1. Bravo Mr. Mayor! Thank you for having guts.

    And, I’d like to give a special shout out to my favorite money waster who happens to be President of the City Council….. Eric Garcetti.

    “Make sure you blow the 2.7 Million we just saved on something really wasteful”

  2. I’d like an explanation from everyone with a YES vote – and I’d like to know how that settlement would be funded (i.e. how much from each one of us).

    And HELL YEAH I’d eat Alpo – every day for a week even – for 2.7 milion. Heck, I’d probably do it for half that.

  3. I’m glad to see the b/la community openly discussing this matter – and will admit my surprise that the thread had not appeared earlier.

    That much said, and in light of the fact that much centers on the City Council and City Attorney’s actions -AND- given the legal implications and the current and future award of *your* money, you can understand my inability to personally discuss this matter publicly or otherwise.

    I will however, be pleased to share your comments with my Chain of Command, up to and including the Fire Chief.

    In closing, for those who have concerns about the daily endeavors of their Neighborhood Firefighters, I welcome you to visit their Neighborhood Fire Station at the time of your choosing.

    Just tell them Brian (“the PSO”) sent you, and that they can add your cup of coffee to my tab.

    Respectfully Yours in Safety and Service,

    Brian Humphrey
    Firefighter/Specialist
    Public Service Officer
    Los Angeles Fire Department

  4. I work in this city looking at settlement cases and I can’t discuss the particulars of this, but the Fire Department has a pattern and practice of everything from sexual assaults to intense racism in its firehouses. All you smartasses who want the settlement get rejected should remember that Javier Ovando was given $15 million and he was a convicted felon. Juries don’t say no to settlements simply because someone has done something bad in the past. You might get the current settlement thrown out, but let’s see if a jury awards more…

  5. hey mister or misses in the know: i bet a lot of us smartasses would prefer to see what happens in the courts. as i read somewhere else, let’s see if you can find a jury that will find in favor of “big dog.” you know all about it, that’s why you are posting anonymously, huh?

  6. Very Funny Mr. Boner I guess you think racism is a joke and black people should eat dog food? May be someone needs to make you eat dog food.

  7. Just wanted to add a perspective– hazing is done by senior officers to junior officers. Once you are a senior officer, you should not be hazed and to be messed with in that way severely damages your credibility.

    I can’t speculate if it was racial at all, but it’s really apples and oranges to compare past hazing of young blood to pranks pulled on senior or mid-level officers.

  8. Bub, you need to get a fucking clue. And then bother to read the facts before you freak out and tell us all we need sensitivity training.

    This is SO not about racism!

    This is about BULLSHIT and a nearly 3 million dollar SCAM that You And I were going to have to pay for.

    And if I’m reading this right, a jury didn’t award the 2.7 mil – it was the work of 11 of our 15 esteemed District officials. Only ONE voted NO!

  9. I know very little about the particulars here, but if memory serves, no one will because matters like settlements can be discussed in closed-session (because the city could never litigate anything if it had to deliberate in the open – like inviting the other team into your huddle).

    I don’t know if the amount is justified or not – but you have to figure the city feared much worse if they settled for that high an amount to begine with. The simplest answer usually being the right answer: there was a lot more evidence of bad stuff going down around the department and so this was the bottom line amount between these two sides.

  10. Since I am not privy to the particulars of this case, I cannot comment on whether this gentleman was justified in his complaint. None of us know whether it was a scam, or whether there is a long history of abuse in the LAFD for which he provided evidence.

    My brother is an African American firefighter who works for a southland fire department. He has told me numerous stories of being isolated, ridiculed and condemned, he feels, due to his race. While growing up, cultivating a “victim mentality” was shunned in our home. Whiners were not tolerated. Therefore, I believe him. From what he has told me, his city’s department turns a blind eye to racist behavior. It’s their culture.

    This is what is on record about the LAFD. Just google. The LAFD has been in hot water for racism and sexism in the past; in fact, they lost a chief over it. But as recent surveys and numerous lawsuits beyond the current multimillion case suggest, not much has changed. Currently, their disciplinary system leaves firefighters free to offend others with little fear of penalty beyond a slap on the wrists. White firefighters who try to stand up for women and non-whites who are harassed face a similar slew of indignities.

    So, this is just something to consider when assuming that this firefighter was filing a frivolous complaint. I don’t want to contribute to the pay out of this lawsuit and I guess, on some level, it works for me when the mayor throws it out. But on the other hand, there’s that old troubling conscience of mine, that favors justice over tyranny. Because in the end, if this guy’s on the up and up, he’s not the reason our pocketbooks take a hit. It’s bad, unchecked, behavior metered out by people who are paid to protect everyone.

  11. Anybody else here remember that kid who used to like to taunt and play jokes on the other kids but would whine when it happened to him? I’m just saying…

  12. You must realize that this is a settlement AFTER a jury trial. The reason why Pierce and his attorney are now talking settlement with the City after said trial is because I am sure the City will or has filed a Motion for new trial, in light of the new evidence, or alternatively a motion to vacate the judgment. Further, the city will file an appeal. If the appeal is filed, Pierce’s case will be extremely vuneralable to reversal not just on mere evidence but any legal issue which was improperly dealt with during the trial. I’m sure Pierce’s attorney has advised him to settle with the City and take what he can and run, because an appeal can take a year. Also note, the City is not required to pay the $15MIL judgment until the Appeal has been decided which can take no less than a year.

  13. You’re right! :) My bad! Anywho, after reading more, I definitely believe that his case is vuneralable in court – his attorney knows this if their talking settlement with the city, not because of the jury factor, but to legal issue motions, who knows maybe the City can get the upper hand with some good motions in limine!

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