Another shakeup for HFD

January 22, 2010 2:47:29 PM PST
There's another big shakeup for the Houston Fire Department. It has been an unusual six months for the department. Earlier this week Chief Phil Boriskie said he would step down after accusations of racism and discrimination at Station 54. And now, several firefighters and a couple captains from that station say they are leaving, too.

The Houston Professional Firefighters Union say six people are being transferred out of Station 54, but we're told this is not punishment, that they all requested to be reassigned.

It's all fallout from an incident this past summer when two female firefighters found what they claimed to be racist and sexist graffiti in the women's dorm.

The attorney for one of the women, Jane Draycott, says one of those being transferred is Captain Brian Williamson. Two weeks ago as Draycott returned to work there, Captain Williamson read a controversial letter saying that her return was dangerous to the rest of the crew and that she can't be trusted.

But Union President Jeff Caynon says the resignations were voluntary.

"It was a mutual decision and more so a decision by our members and for the crew that's assigned to Station 54 in an effort to diffuse the situation and foster good will," he said.

The Houston Fire Department sent out a press release late Friday saying that Captain Williamson will be reassigned to Station 53. And Senior Captain Isidro Tamez will transfer to Station 102. On Monday, both men will report to the Val Jahnke Training Academy for re-training for structural firefighting.

There's still an active investigation underway by the Office of Inspector General. Stay with ABC13 Eyewitness News for the very latest on this still developing story.