by: Samuel King Updated:
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - A female firefighter is suing the Jacksonville Fire and Rescue Department for discrimination and harassment.
In the suit, Lt. Candice Buckner claims she was punished for complaining about her male colleagues using profane comments and bringing pornography into Fire Station 1 in downtown Jacksonville.
Bucker has worked for the department for 10 years and claims she was one of only two females assigned to Fire Station 1.
She claims one lieutenant told her, “This is station one and we aren’t changing because you’re here. In fact, we come here to get away from our wives and girlfriends and we can’t do what we want because you’re here.”
In the suit, she said she asked for a transfer to another station in the western part of the city. She says the abuse continued there as well, with her being referred to as “that snake.”
JFRD public information officer Tom Francis said the department could not comment on the suit, but he said Buckner’s initial complaints prompted an internal investigation.
“Upon the conclusion of the aforementioned, it was deemed that no action was warranted,” Francis said. “And that revelation did not align with Lt. Buckner’s expectations and therefore she has decided to seek a remedy through a different venue.”
Buckner has filed a separate lawsuit against the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office, claiming some officers inappropriately accessed her driver’s license information. Just last week, a judge ordered the two sides to reach a settlement.
Action News also learned Buckner was among the JFRD employees disciplined in 2012 for inappropriate use of department equipment during a fundraiser. The incident is not mentioned in the suit.
Buckner’s attorney has not yet responded to messages left at her office. The city’s Office of General Counsel has asked for more time to respond to the claims in the suit.
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