Ongoing Legal Battles

Dallas to pay former Fire-Rescue executive $390,000 to settle sexual harassment lawsuit

City of Dallas to pay $390,000 to settle sexual harassment lawsuit

After four years of legal maneuvering, the City of Dallas is prepared to reach a settlement with a former Dallas Fire-Rescue executive. Leanne Siri sued the city and a host of officials in 2009, citing sexual harassment, discrimination and a hostile work environment.

Siri was subsequently fired for "poor work performance," and city manager Mary Suhm, fire chief Eddie Burns and other officials were all eventually dropped from the suit.

An accomplished professional, Siri was not going down without a fight. Her lawsuit aired the Dallas-Fire Rescue's dirty laundry and exposed "a culture of woman-hating."

Siri said males employees emailed her lewd photos and regularly referred to themselves as "pimps." Her lawsuit detailed the dissemination of several graphic photos, including one of "a woman completely naked with her legs spread," which was displayed during an employee presentation.

"Pervasive, severe, outrageous and obscene acts of discrimination, hostility, disrespect and harassment by [Dallas Fire-Rescue] leaders have slowly dismantled [Siri's] reputation and her spirit," the original petition reads.

The city denied each and every one Siri's claims in a 2010 filing, claiming that the city "exercised reasonable care to prevent an correct promptly any sexually harassing and/or discriminatory behavior." 

Apparently, the city has changed its tune and is now willing to pay Siri up to $390,000 for her troubles. The settlement is recommended for approval by the City Council during its May 15 briefing

Leanne Siri
Leanne Siri joined the Dallas Fire-Rescue department after a career in the private sector. iafc.org