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