I just spoke to Charles LiMandri, the attorney for a group of four San Diego firefighters who have complained to the Fire Department about being ordered to take part in the city’s Pride Parade.
LiMandri, who was enjoying a day on the beach in Coronado with his children, told me that the parade fight is not over.
Yesterday, Ron Saathoff, president of the firefighter’s union, told me that the group of firefighters had come to him asking for two things: 1) An apology and 2) A guarantee that no San Diego firefighter will ever again be forced to appear in a parade against their will.
Fire Chief Tracy Jarman has already issued an official apology and has met with the firefighters in person. This morning, fire department spokesman Maurice Luque told me that the department’s working on a new parade policy that should be issued by the end of the day.
I asked LiMandri if the apology and new policy would suffice — whether that will be the end of the matter.
“Not now. It would have been, a couple of weeks ago,” he said. “The thing is that these guys basically blew our guys off when they approached them before.”
The firefighters have so far filed a notice of a right to sue. LiMandri said that’s likely to turn into a full-blown lawsuit.
Of course, LiMandri said, this all really depends on whether the firefighters want to follow through with the case.
I haven’t yet been able to contact any of the firefighters involved to gauge their reaction and to see whether they think the action is worth pursuing now the department’s apologized and is changing its policy.