Local

Still no answers in firefighter graffiti case

Friday, March 19, 2010

Someone did it. But for now, investigators say they don't know who put offensive graffiti on the walls of a Houston Fire Department locker room.

Eight months after racist and sexist graffiti was scribbled inside a Houston fire station, even the FBI says it's no closer to finding the person who did it. The firefighter targeted in the initial investigation is talking about the new findings. She's angry, but still wants to come back to work.

The FBI has concluded it can't figure out who scrawled racist and sexist graffiti inside the women's dorm at a secure fire house. The city decided the same thing. The whole thing is leaving firefighter Jane Draycott telling us she's not proud to be a Houston firefighter anymore, but somehow has to get back to work.

Since the racist and sexist graffiti showed up in July, suspicion circled around Draycott that maybe somehow she was the one who scrawled the hateful words on her own stuff.

It's an allegation Draycott denied then and denied again Friday over the phone.

"There is no way I would ever deface my deceased child's picture, ever," said Draycott. "I would never write those words on the wall. I'm not a bad person. I'm a very good person."

Remember the city forced her to submit to handwriting samples. They even got a judge to order it. But nothing ever came of that when the city looked. So when the city came up empty handed after 5 months, they asked the FBI to look at the same evidence. Now the FBI says it can't find anything either.

"The FBI could only look at what the OIG did and what the OIG did and if what the OIG did was garbage, which I strongly suspect it is, there's nothing they can really do with it," said attorney Joe Ahmed, who's representing Draycott.

Officially, the city says this is still an open investigation, but the Houston city attorney admits it is incredibly unlikely that anything new will come of this investigation now.

Draycott is still on paid leave from the fire department and has been for eight and a half months. She wants to return to her old station. Her former colleagues made that tough though. She and the city will likely negotiate some return in the coming weeks.

Draycott has been offered other assignments at the fire department, but insists she wants to return to the airport station where this happened. Neither Draycott, nor the EEOC, have filed any lawsuits connected with the incident. Draycott's lawyers say they are considering what their next move will be.

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Tags:
annise parker, houston fire department, local, ted oberg
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