Writing sample ordered for accusing firefighter

July 31, 2009 9:19:15 PM PDT
One of the Houston firefighters who says she was victimized when someone defaced a picture of her and her deceased daughter at work is being asked to give a handwriting sample to investigators. "It's unbelievable, really," said attorney Joseph Ahmad, who's representing firefighter Jane Draycott.

Ahmad is angry. Just weeks after Draycott says she was the victim of racist and sexist graffiti, he says the Houston firefighter is being victimized again.

"Someone is very desperate to pin this on her, even though it's very clear she didn't do it," he said.

He's talking about a court ruling, ordering at the request of the Office of Inspector General, that Draycott submit to a handwriting analysis, something his other client, Paula Keyes, has not been asked to do, nor to his knowledge, anyone else.

Draycott and Keyes first brought the allegations forward early in July, alleging ongoing harassment within the ranks at Station 54. The incident sparked outrage among civil rights activists, as well as with the Houston Black Firefighters Association.

Our calls to the Office of Inspector General were not returned. Our legal analyst questions the city's tactics.

"Investigations are very important, but if they tend to have an appearance they're partial, it can get totally out of control," said Eyewitness News legal analyst Joel Androphy.

In a statement to Eyewitness News, Chief Phil Boriskie told us, "HFD and the City of Houston want to bring whoever is responsible for this to justice so we welcome any effort to achieve it."

It's something Ahmad agrees with, claiming she's already undergone three lie detector tests, all done voluntarily.

"Could you imagine how somebody would feel now complaining about discrimination, given everything they've done to her," he said. "I don't think anybody in their right mind would dare complain."

Ahmad says two of those lie detector tests were performed by experts he hired and she passed those. A third was administered by the city. He says he's not at liberty to discuss. He also says Draycott has already undergone a handwriting analysis by somebody who he hired. He says she passed that. The city test is scheduled to be administered on Wednesday.

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