Indianapolis Fire Department Chief James Greeson today suspended two of his top deputies who were named in a discrimination lawsuit that the city recently paid $350,000 to settle.
Greeson suspended Battalion Chief Richard Longerich for 80 hours and Battalion Chief John Walker for 32 hours in connection with their failures to obey direct orders and department rules, said Kobi Wright, a lawyer for the city.
Capt. Ruth Morrison claimed Longerich, Walker and others in the fire department allegedly taunted her, unfairly disciplined her and prevented her from being promoted on the basis of her gender. The city settled on Sept. 5 and agreed to pay Morrison $350,000.
Longerich, Wright said, was punished because he violated Greeson's order by failing to attend a gender sensitivity training course. In July 2005, records show, Greeson ordered Longerich to complete the training after Morrison filed a discrimination complaint with the federal government.
Walker, Wright said, was punished because he attended a party at the firefighters' union in July 2005 in which 100 to 200 firefighters raised funds to offset the money Walker and Battalion Chief Richard Van Sant lost when Greeson suspended them for threatening and intimidating Morrison. Van Sant is now retired.
Greeson, according to records, had ordered the chiefs not to attend the party.
No word on what the administration plans to do about allegations of a citizen witness that Greeson referred to tax protestor Melyssa Donaghy as a "bull dyke" at a CCC meeting at which Mayor Peterson was about to deliver his budget address.