City's Spending Millions Fighting Dallas Fire-Rescue Sexual Harassment Suit

Categories: City Hall
LeanneSiri.jpg
Leanne Siri
The case of Leanne Siri v. City of Dallas, Texas, et al. is alive and well in Dallas federal court, with discovery scheduled to wrap up by no later than November 18, according to a doc filed with the court only last week. For those who've somehow forgotten all about this long-smoldering case, a quick refresher: Siri-Edwards, once the one-time highest-ranking woman in Dallas Fire-Rescue, sued the department in April 2009 over a laundry list of complaints involving harassment, discrimination and retaliation allegedly involving, amongst others, then-Fire Chief Eddie Burns and dozens of other DFR officials. Burns, of course, was then named the Worst Boss in America, only to retire to his Arlington bar in July.

The discovery process has been contentions: Per the order on the other side, signed at the end of August by U.S. Magistrate Judge Jeff Kaplan, Siri had wanted to get hold of phone logs and text messages sent to and from Burns and three female DFR employees using their personal cell phones. Siri's attorney insists the messages will reveal that the chief made "unwelcome sexual advances" toward the women, but Kaplan decided not to allow the look-see. He explains why after the jump.

Reason I mention this: The council will be briefed on the status of the case tomorrow, behind closed doors. Then, one week from tomorrow, the council will vote on paying an additional $700,000 to Munck Carter for "additional legal services necessary to represent" the city in the lawsuit -- which is on top of the $600,000 the city's already spent on the firm's services. Total $1.3 million. Which is in addition to the $1,475,000 paid to Bell, Nunnally & Martin, a price tag included that investigation into Siri's claims back in November 2009. Kaplan Order in Siri v Dallas Case
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Paul
Paul

Could someone fill me in ... How long had Ms. Siri-Edwards been at DFD and what did she do?

DFD
DFD

Paul,

Siri was hired with Burns.. (package deal Burns; he had to have her so he could do the job) one of the most incompetent Fire Chiefs that Suhm has ever hired.  Suhm and Burns has your Dallas Fire Dept. morale at an all time low.  FYI Suhm is cutting staffing in Fire Dispatch which will no doubt increase response times and increase likelihood for lawsuits from citizens.   Over 260,000 calls for service from citizens for Fire/EMS needs a year      ( busiest dispatch center in the nation).  Sorry for the rant to answer your question she was on payroll maybe a little over 2 years.  What she did was baby sit incompetence.

99.9% of DFD give 100% to serving the public 100% of the time, that is what we do.  We are a brotherhood (men and women).  Burns brought a stain and a conception that rank and file FF's commit sexual harassment on a daily basis and that could not be further from the truth.  A dept our size, like every large organization it does happen sometimes.  But it is not the norm.   Thanks, A Dallas Firefighter

Jonah
Jonah

Thats right...somebody had to run the DFR

AintNoSunshine
AintNoSunshine

Consider this:

Offer her 1mil when it all started. 

Savings for the Taxpayers = Millions!!!!!!! 

Perkins = Fired, no questions asked. 

Facebook User
Facebook User

The legal bill for this matter is outrageous. How much did Siri ask for to begin with? Surely we could have offered her $500K to settle the matter. Instead we haven't started the trial and we are already spent $2,000,000 in legal fees and the city is going to tack on another $700,000 tomorrow. How much for the trial? Another $2,000,000? What happens if we spend $5M in legal fees AND lose?

whodunnit
whodunnit

It's all just "monopoly money" the way Perkins looks at it......... the taxpayers ultimately foot the bill, either in increased taxes or decreased services.........take your pick.

Mike
Mike

How can she not win this case?  We should have thrown Chief Burns under the bus a long time ago and settled this one.  As for the attorneys, they are probably working in shifts on that Animal Shelter manager's case.  Over a year on paid leave and the city has not figured out how to terminate him for cause.  Between him and Chief Burns, you have to wonder what does it take to get fired from the City of Dallas.

Watching South Detroit
Watching South Detroit

Under Mary Suhm, you have to commit a witnessed homicide to get fired.  Otherwise, you are just "counsled" and the incident is covered up (or you are shuffled to some other job).

AngelOf14
AngelOf14

Sounds like JK and AC. They both have closet duties now!

Boogieking
Boogieking

it's simple... you just have to kill someone... then you get fired ... otherwise you just get shuffled around and eventually retire with full bebefits...

RTR
RTR

All that is about to change. Sick of this shit. 

copywrite*
copywrite*

I was alarmed to read that fie attorneys had been pink-slipped last year at budget time, so I contacted my City Councillor's office.

Seems the city had — or has — 75 attorneys. Perhaps if "we" did not do so many stupid things, we could save lots of dollars.

replay
replay

All of those lawyers..........think of all that money being spent on "in house" lawyers plus support staff. Then, think about all of the money the City pays to outside law firms to represent the City. It's absolutely a "double-whammy".

Wylie H.
Wylie H.

Good lord.... Tom Perkins must be lovin' this.  In seems like in his world, the more litigation, the better.  He knows there is no one in city government with the skills or political clout to check the size and budget of his vast legal empire.

Dist14
Dist14

Right on Wylie H. Perkins motto is to litigate the CIty into millions and millions of dollars into the hole, then settle. He thinks he can litigate people into submission. How has that worked out for you Perkins?

Wylie H.
Wylie H.

I'm not sure Perkins believes he can actually win these cases.... it's just that some attorneys want to do more, rather than less, and it's frequently up to the client to keep them in check.  Unfortunately, there is no one in City Hall who appears competent to ride herd on Perkins.... certainly not Mary Suhm.

Ed D.
Ed D.

It's too bad the city doesn't already have a bunch of attorneys on the payroll.

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