68 Houston fire cadets each file federal complaint against Mayor Turner

By Megan Kennedy - Digital News Editor, Mario Diaz - Reporter
Marty Lancton|Houston firefighters union

Houston fire cadets file Title 7 federal complaints against Mayor Turner on Thursday.

HOUSTON - Each of the 68 Houston fire cadets have filed Title 7 federal complaints against Houston's Mayor Sylvester Turner, the firefighter's union president said Thursday.

The cadets gathered outside of the city attorney's office to file them, said Mary Benton, press secretary for Turner's office. The cadets are accusing Turner of discrimination and retaliation. 

Last week, two cadets out of the nearly 70 who have not been sworn in since Proposition B overwhelmingly passed last November spoke to Channel 2 Investigates.

"We came here for the job. We came here before Prop B. We came to become Houston firefighters. It's all we want to do,” said one cadet.

"We're just waiting to get into the field, that's all we want."

While one of the cadets admitted that cadets “can't let the political game get the best of us,” the two asked us not to reveal their identities out of fear of political retribution.

"We came here for the job. We came here before Prop B. We came to become Houston firefighters. It's all we want to do,” said one cadet.

The other one said, "It's still frustrating that we were trained to do a service to the community that the taxpayers had paid for us to do, and it's a waste of their money and it's a waste of our time."

The following statement is from Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner:

"These are employment decisions based on the financial constraints of the city. My efforts to save the city from the financial ruin posed by Prop B are solely responsive to the needs and desires of the residents of Houston. Complaints by fire cadets of discrimination and retaliation will be handled by the Office of Inspector General like any other complaint. But these theatrics are nothing more than a distraction and do not help us to solve real financial challenges. I am confident that people can see what the Fire Fighters Association is doing: It is ironic that at the same time that we were sitting down with Council Members to discuss the implementation of Prop B, this demonstration was being held. Nevertheless, I remain focused on protecting the interest of this city, because there is simply too much at stake."

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