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The staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Discrimination complaints keep heat on East Lake Fire Rescue

As a Cuban-American and East Lake Fire Rescue's only minority, Lt. Bill Figueredo says fellow firefighters frequently called him a "dirty Mexican" and told him he should be mowing the lawn rather than fighting fires.

He was quiet about it for years, played along with it even, until he was accused of a giving a Nazi salute and using an anti-Jewish slur, allegations he denies.

Figueredo was demoted. Then reinstated.

But the incident brought on accusations, public meetings and an investigation, all of which have raised questions about whether East Lake Fire Rescue condoned harassment and is carrying on the "old boys" management style that troubled the department years ago and led to an overhaul of the way the district was run.

Read more here.

[Last modified: Sunday, June 2, 2013 9:00pm]


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