Fire in the Hole

At least a few members of Dallas Fire-Rescue should turn the hose on themselves. Last week, we wrote about the latest revelations in the bizarre sage of Roland Gamez, the former assistant fire chief terminated in March for, in effect, rubbing people the wrong way. Before that, we wrote about Michael Price, the deputy chief who had too much to drink at a convention in Houston and yelled at a woman to "show us your tits" during a skit. Investigators also found that Price talked about the woman who chronicled his inebriated escapades in a department newsletter and threatened to "kick her in the cunt." Classy.

But there's more. Recently, we had the chance to review the investigative report on a woman who worked for Gamez after she also was accused of sexual harassment, with her employees claiming, among other things, that she was constantly "re-arranging her undergarments." Fire department investigators cleared her of sexual harassment, though not many of the more specific charges, concluding that the middle-aged grandmother had no intent of creating a hostile work environment. Her bra and panties simply didn't fit well. So here, then are some of the allegations made by her own employees. Some of these are quotes from the complainants themselves; others are reports from investigators. Are her employees just a little too irritable, or is this middle-aged supervisor putting the baby-got-back in Backdraft? We report; you deride:

    "She is snapping or popping the elastic in her underwear or grabbing it, and pulling it out of different body parts and making body movements that are not appropriate for mixed company. She also comes up behind me, while I am working at my desk, and puts her hands on my shoulder before speaking to me."

    "He stated that she has casually touched him on many occasions and since he has witnessed her rearranging her body parts and undergarments, he is extremely uncomfortable with her touches. He states that he has knowledge that [she] does not wash her hands prior to exiting the restroom, and this adds to his disgust, and he does not want her to touch him."

    "I have many, many times witnessed [her], while talking with me and talking on different occasions to others, stick her hand down shirt and move or adjust the contents. She is constantly popping her underwear or pulling it out of areas that I didn't want to see, while talking to me or others."

    "I have witnessed on numerous occasions, almost daily, [her] pulling on her undergarment restraints at her inner leg to her hip and just above her breasts where her bra strap meets the bra cup. This type of action should be done in private and is offensive. Her body parts jiggle when she does this & it should not be done in the presence of the opposite gender or anyone."

    "I have witnessed her inappropriately scratching her private feminine areas and constantly adjusting her undergarments for all the world to see. On one occasion she stated the tag of her pants was irritating her and she proceeded to expand the elastic in her pants and ask that I look down her pants to see if I could see the tag. This incident was gross, inappropriate, and definitely made me uncomfortable."

    "[She] came into work stating her shoulders were as tight as rubber band. A few minutes later she called me and asked me if I would rub some ben-gay on her shoulders. I told her no, that I was not comfortable doing so. She said okay."

    "She talks to me and snaps on her underwear. She pulls up on the front of her pants like an uncivilized man with a big belt buckle hanging in front. This makes me uncomfortable."

Perhaps worst of all, this woman and her irritable employees work at the department's emergency call center. If the fire truck shows up late, let's hope it's not because someone is worried about an aging woman's panties. --Matt Pulle

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