I just spoke to Fire Department spokesman Maurice Luque again. Luque has spent the day dealing with a new policy on firefighters taking part in parades. More on that later.
First, I talked to Luque about that complaint made last year about sexual harassment during the Pride Parade.
He said the complaint never reached Fire Chief Tracy Jarman. She had no knowledge of it when she stated that the department has not received any complaints about the parade in the last 15 years, he said.
I also asked Luque who it was that ordered the four firefighters to attend the parade. He said that order was made by Assistant Fire Chief of Operations Jeff Carle. Carle was recently promoted to assistant fire chief after Bill Middleton retired.
Carle won’t be giving any interviews, Luque said.
The department’s about to release a copy of their new policy on parades, Luque said. I’ll post that as soon as I get it. Luque said that, broadly, the new policy will focus on using volunteer firefighters in future parades.
One last thing: I asked Luque if the four firefighters had approached the department with their complaint prior to talking to Charles LiMandri, the attorney who is now leading the charge for them. Remember what LiMandri told me earlier:
The thing is that these guys basically blew our guys off when they approached them before.
LiMandri was referring both to the department and to the firefighters’ union, both of which he said had failed to adequately deal with the complaints of the firefighters.
But Luque said the firefighters had not used the grievance process that is in place to deal with problems like these.
“They had the right to use that process, and they didn’t use it,” Luque said.
Instead, the firefighters went to LiMandri, who has previously been involved in high-profile political fights, most notably when he represented the city in the Soledad Cross issue last year.