Poetic Justice

From out-of-town meetings to the courtroom, there are apparently no lengths Dallas Fire-Rescue Deputy Chief Michael Price won't go in order to humiliate himself. Last December, we reported how Price filed a lawsuit against fellow firefighter Sherrie Wilson after she exposed his frat-boy antics at a fire conference in Houston in a newsletter titled the Fire Rescue Poop Sheet. Wilson never mentioned Price by name but referred to him sarcastically as "our awesome deputy chief," and belittled him in a poem called "I am Deputy."

"City Trips with me are real embarrassing. When I drink too much, I scream insanities," Wilson wrote. "This exercise in power makes me feel so proud. But the people around me see a big jerk in shroud."

After Wilson chronicled Price's various alcohol-soaked escapades, the department launched an internal affairs investigation and corroborated the leitmotiv of her poetry. What they discovered doesn't exactly speak to the class and dignity of one of the department's highest-ranking chiefs. For example, at a fire conference, Price yelled at a woman to "show us your tits" during a skit. Price explained that he was acting in the Jerry Springer-like context of the skit, but his colleagues who witnessed his behavior responded that they were "startled, mortified and embarrassed" by his remark. Other than that, they liked it. Price's co-workers also told investigators that at various points in the conference Price appeared drunk, yelled at the hotel staff and talked about going to a strip club.

Making matters even worse, investigators discovered that after Wilson regaled her readers with Price's various exploits, he said to his colleagues that he was going to "kick her in the cunt."

Looks like he missed: A state court recently granted Wilson's request for summary judgment, effectively throwing out the deputy chief's lawsuit. Now Price will have an awfully difficult time winning a lawsuit against Wilson, since his own department's internal affairs shop backed up her poetry. (For his indiscretions, the department merely gave him a letter of counseling.) Adding to Price's induced misery, Wilson has resumed publication of the Fire Rescue Poop Sheet, which was effectively suspended during the lawsuit. Her page-one, above-the-fold headline? "Winning a Frivolous Lawsuit: Priceless."

We contacted Price himself, and rather than threatening a swift kick, he said only, "I have no comment for you" before hanging up. --Matt Pulle

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