Shreveport firefighter appeals firing, wants back on payroll - KSLA News 12 Shreveport, Louisiana News Weather & Sports

Shreveport firefighter appeals firing, wants back on city payroll

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Attorney John Settle has filed an appeal with the Civil Service Board to get Derrick Harris' firing reversed. Attorney John Settle has filed an appeal with the Civil Service Board to get Derrick Harris' firing reversed.
Derrick N. Harris, 50 (Source: Shreveport Police Department) Derrick N. Harris, 50 (Source: Shreveport Police Department)
Harris has pleaded not guilty to charges of cruelty to the infirm and principal to prostitution. Harris has pleaded not guilty to charges of cruelty to the infirm and principal to prostitution.
SHREVEPORT, LA (KSLA) -

One of the fired Shreveport firefighters arrested in connection with the cruelty and prostitution scandal at Fire Station 8 wants his job back, with back pay.

Attorney John Settle says he intends to not only clear Derrick Harris' name, but to get his firing reversed. Harris is one of 5 Shreveport firefighters named in the abuse scandal at Fire Station 8, and one of four who recently got a termination letter from Chief Craig Mulford.

It reads in part, "You had knowledge of a female and male visitor being together in a locked bathroom at station 8, and when questioned, failed to report or share information..."

"I expected this from the fire chief. I'm disappointed," said Attorney John Settle, who has filed an appeal to the civil service board.

"They can uphold the chief, they can overturn him completely, they can modify. We want Captain Harris restored to active duty, want his rank maintained and his back-pay," said Settle.
Harris is accused of some very specific criminal acts. Court documents accuse him of taking part in the humiliating hazing of mentally challenged men at Station 8. But his termination letter only mentions his failure to report information and his permitting the use of alcohol.

"This implies that he failed as a supervisor," said Settle.

But the letter also cites a few of the department's general rules as grounds for termination. It states that officers must conduct themselves in such a manner as approved by law-abiding citizens, and self respecting citizens. It says they should not commit any act which might bring discredit upon the department or it's members.
 
Settle calls those "gotcha" reasons. "In some circles smoking cigarettes would be considered in today's world discredit," said Settle.

Settle believes no matter how it ends, Harris' retirement is safe, even if he's fired.

A civil service board hearing date has not yet been set.

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