Jane Draycott: EEOC Sides With Female Firefighter on Harassment Charges

As first reported by Fox 26, the federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission has found that one of the female firefighters involved in a headline-grabbing case was the victim of harassment.

We've got a copy of the document (you can see it below) and the EEOC says Jane Draycott "was subjected to a hostile work environment based on her gender and was retaliated against" for reporting her claims.

Draycott was working at Fire Station 54 in 2008-09 when, the EEOC concludes, male firefighters entered the female dorm and left "cups containing tobacco spit, spilled soft drinks, dirty dishes and used cotton swabs and other trash." Not to mention yellow wet spots believed to be urine.

And firecrackers rigged to go off when the women's bathroom door was opened, and shower pipes tampered with to scald her.

Jeff Caynon, president of the Houston Professional Firefighters Union and a staunch defender of Station 54, told Hair Balls he had not had a chance to review the report.

"The narrative that has been allowed to flourish is that the firefighters circled the wagons and tried to stymie the investigation, and that is not true," he said.

The EEOC does note that HFD "did not initially cooperate" but eventually did after subpoenas were issued. (We have a call in to the HFD for reaction.)

In August, Draycott was charged with shoplifting at a Walmart. Her attorney said she was suffering from depression and alcohol problems.

Update: In an official statement, Caynon calls the EEOC investigation "limited in scope" and says that the feds did not talk to many firefighters who would have refuted the allegations.

The EEOC's letter and summary of their investigation:


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Richard Connelly
Contact: Richard Connelly