Firefighting, Legal

Lawyer for Fired North Carolina Firefighter: Department’s Punishments Need to be Consistent

The attorney for a Charlotte firefighter who was fired over a Facebook posting says the city is being inconsistent by not firing a Deputy Fire Chief for a similar offense, reports (

Deputy Chief Jeff Dulin was placed on administrative leave Monday for posting what was called an offensive picture of Bruce Jenner on his Facebook page. Jenner is said to be transitioning to become a woman.

The lawyer for Crystal Eschert, the fire department investigator who was fired last year, says that’s not right.

“The city needs to apply its policies and procedures consistently,” said attorney Margaret Maloney.

Eschert was fired for a posting on her Facebook page that concerned the shooting last summer of an unarmed African American by a white police officer in Ferguson, Missouri.

Eschert said her firing was actually in retaliation for her complaints about what she said were safety hazards at a fire department office building.

Dulin was also among a number of city workers who had to pay back money to the city for mishandling expenses.

“As this plays out, I think you are going to see how ridiculous their initial action was with respect to Ms. Eschert as they try to apply it consistently going forward,” said Maloney.

City Manager Ron Carlee, through a spokesperson, declined to be interviewed.