SACRAMENTO, Calif. (KTXL) — Former Fire Chief Gary Loesch was fired last week, and Wednesday, a new lawsuit shows claims of discrimination, racism, and retaliation. But the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) believes his firing was no mistake.
Loesch told FOX40 that he was initially blindsided by the firing. He has since filed a lawsuit that claims the city manager fired him because of a misconduct case in which a judge ruled in favor of Loesch. The claims include Loesch wearing an inappropriate costume during a Halloween party and retaliating against an employee within the department.
The president of the greater Sacramento chapter of the NAACP says there’s more to what Loesch is claiming.
“I think that is a joke to me,” said Betty Williams. “For years we have had ongoing complaints from the fire department with blatant racism and discriminatory practices.”
One of the complaints comes from an ongoing lawsuit with city employee Carol Renix. The lawsuit claims Loesch forced her to resign and rehired her only to demote and transfer her. She also claims that a group of women of color experienced the same thing under Loesch.
“Never being recognized for their worth. The racial slurs and the jokes, the demeaning conversations, the belittling in public,” said Williams.
Loesch told FOX40 he was an advocate for diversity when he first found out he was fired.
“Trying to get this new program which is called Single Roll, which is our EMS program started. I’ve been trying to do it for three and a half years. It develops diversity and brings a lot of women into the department,” Loesch said.
A spokesperson for the city manager’s office wouldn’t comment on the lawsuit.