Letter at center of fire chief's resignation

January 22, 2010 2:46:41 PM PST
We have a first look at the controversial letter that led to Houston's mayor scolding the former fire chief. The letter is about three pages and it was supposedly read when female firefighter Jane Draycott tried to return to work Wednesday at her fire station. We are told this letter is only half the story, but some handwritten notes were thrown away.

Jane Draycott was one of two female firefighters who claimed last July they were victims of sexist and racist graffiti at Station 54. Draycott claimed someone drew graffiti on her dead daughter's photo.

In the letter, the fire captain makes mention of that death even saying that it affected Draycott's state of mind. One portion of Capt. Williamson's letter reads, "It is to my knowledge, that at least twice, you have spoken of taking your own life at the fire station while on duty. I fear that under the current circumstances, your threats? pose a danger for all crew members."

The letter goes on to say, "The crew of this shift and myself feel that we are unable to trust you. I feel (and the firefighters) feel as if your presence creates an unsafe, potentially dangerous and hostile work environment."

Draycott's attorney denied she was unfit to return to work and called the letter disturbing.

"A lot of firefighters go through a tremendous amount of emotional anguish. She has certainly gone through a tremendous amount of emotional anguish and distress as a result of all of this. But until she complained publicly about it, nobody was saying that she couldn't come back to work," said Joe Ahmad, Draycott's attorney.

City officials told us that the chief actually required the captain to turn in his letter and this is the draft that he provided. It is important to note that the captain has not faced any disciplinary action.


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