Fired Sacramento fire chief files $10 million wrongful termination lawsuit against city

Former Sacramento Fire Chief Gary Loesch has filed a $10 million wrongful termination lawsuit against the city, saying there was no “good cause” for his firing. The document also claims that he was deliberately exposed to COVID-19 while he was being fired. A lawsuit filed against Loesch by a former Sacramento Fire Department employee made several allegations of discrimination and harassment based on age, race and gender. He also detailed workplace retaliation, including whistleblower retaliation. One of the allegations in that complaint also detailed a Halloween party in 2019 where Loesch dressed like a black pimp and instructed female employees to dress and act like black prostitutes. The whistleblower retaliation and Halloween party is why City Manager Howard Chan on Jan. 11, 2020, tried to freeze Loesch’s salary, according to the tort complaint filed by the former fire chief. The lawsuit also said that on April 21, 2022, an administrative law judge found that Loesch did not retaliate against the city employee who filed a complaint against Loesch, “and that if Chief Loesch would have must have anticipated that his suit might be considered offensive by some people, he hadn’t intended it that way, he was to meet with Deputy City Manager Layne Milstein in his office to discuss the department’s issues. from his office, Milstein wore a face mask and told Loesch he didn’t need to wear one even though he offered.After Loesch walked into his office, Chan followed her and stood by Loesch, explaining that “he wouldn’t take off his mask because he had COVID-19. Chan then told Loesch that he was fired as a fire chief and that he left shortly after Sacramento in an email to KCRA 3 said Howard Chan did not he didn’t have COVID-19 when he met Loesch. .KCRA 3 reported in 2021 allegations of dangerous hazing, harassment and discrimination within the Sacramento City Fire Department, including several firefighters telling their personal stories. These stories detailed the ministry’s allegedly toxic lack of accountability. These accounts were written before Loesch joined the department in October 2018. Loesch said then that he believed negative trends within the department were changing. He also said in 2021 that he loves current and former firefighters coming out to share their stories of workplace harassment. “I’m glad they’re showing them because if they didn’t show them to me, I’d think everything was fine. And obviously, everything wasn’t fine, and that’s just part of the challenge for me to manage,” Loesch said in 2021. The Greater Sacramento NAACP branch issued a statement supporting the decision to fire Loesch. The branch said it “voted unanimously to request the firing of Chief Loesch” in 2021 after a black firefighter resigned, citing several discriminatory issues: “For positive and equitable change to happen, it is important to confront the toxic culture of a system; therefore you have to start at the top of the organization, in this case, who is the chief of the fire department,” said NAACP President Betty Williams. Read the NAACP’s full statement here.

Former Sacramento Fire Chief Gary Loesch has filed a $10 million wrongful termination lawsuit against the city, saying there was no “good cause” for his firing. The document also claims that he was deliberately exposed to COVID-19 while getting fired.

A lawsuit filed against Loesch by a former Sacramento Fire Department employee made several allegations of discrimination and harassment based on age, race and gender. He also detailed workplace retaliation, including whistleblower retaliation.

One of the allegations in that complaint also detailed a Halloween party in 2019 where Loesch dressed like a black pimp and instructed female employees to dress and act like black prostitutes.

The whistleblower retaliation and the Halloween party were the reason City Manager Howard Chan on Jan. 11, 2020, tried to freeze Loesch’s salary, according to the complaint filed by the former fire chief. The lawsuit also said that on April 21, 2022, an administrative law judge found that Loesch did not retaliate against the city employee who filed a complaint against Loesch, “and that if Chief Loesch would have must have anticipated that his costume might be considered offensive by some people, he didn’t mean it that way.”

Loesch was fired on May 26 and details of his tort claim when he was fired. He was to meet with Deputy City Manager Layne Milstein in her office to discuss the department’s issues. Outside his office, Milstein wore a face mask and told Loesch he didn’t need to wear one even though he offered to.

After Loesch walked into her office, Chan followed her and stood near Loesch, explaining that “he wouldn’t take his mask off because he had COVID-19.” Chan then told Loesch that he was fired as fire chief and left soon after.

The allegation states that there was no “good cause” for Loesch’s firing and that his “deliberate exposure to COVID-19” were both acts of retaliation.

The City of Sacramento in an email to KCRA 3 said Howard Chan did not have COVID-19 when he met Loesch.

“The City Manager had previously had COVID but had tested negative for about a week prior to the meeting with Mr. Loesch,” the email read.

KCRA 3 reported in 2021 allegations of dangerous hazing, harassment and discrimination within the Sacramento City Fire Department, including several firefighters telling their personal stories. These stories detailed the ministry’s allegedly toxic lack of accountability. These accounts were established before Loesch joined the department in October 2018.

Loesch then said he believed the negative trends within the department were changing.

He also said in 2021 that he loves current and former firefighters coming out to share their stories of workplace harassment.

“I’m glad they’re showing them because if they weren’t showing them to me, I’d think everything was fine. And obviously, everything wasn’t fine, and that’s just part of the challenge I have to rise,” Loesch said in 2021.

The Greater Sacramento NAACP branch released a statement supporting the decision to fire Loesch. The branch said it “voted unanimously to call for the firing of Chief Loesch” in 2021 after a black firefighter resigned, citing several discriminatory issues.

“For positive and equitable change to happen, it’s important to confront the toxic culture of a system, so you have to start at the top of the organization, in this case, who is the chief of the fire department” , said NAACP President Betty Williams.

Read the NAACP’s full statement here.

.

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: