JFRD facing federal sexual discrimination lawsuit

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- The City of Jacksonville and its fire and rescue department are facing a new sexual discrimination lawsuit.

The suit alleges that because Lt. Candice Buckner complained about pornography and sexually explicit material at Fire Station #1 on Liberty Street in June 2012, she faced ongoing disparate treatment, harassment and retaliation for being a woman.

Story: Candice Buckner had her name splashed across the headlines last August

At the time she worked at station #1, the suit said she was only one of two women out of approximately 39 employees who were stationed there.

One incident alleged in the case is a fellow lieutenant telling Buckner that other firemen would have sex with her daughter once the girl was of legal age.

Buckner was also allegedly told by coworkers that they "...come here to get away from our wives and girlfriends. We aren't changing 150 years of tradition just because there's a (explicit word) in the house now."

The lawsuit also claims that JFRD officers would be openly inspecting Buckner's uniform, response times to calls and performance at calls.

She was also allegedly referred to as a "snake" and "p****," according to the lawsuit. Negative comments were also written on her social media site, according to the lawsuit.

Buckner is a licensed nurse and paramedic in Florida. She was promoted to the rank of lieutenant in 2011. She was reassigned to a different fire station in June 2013.

The suit claims she suffers from anxiety, depression and damaged professional reputation as a result of the alleged harassment and retaliation.

Buckner was previously disciplined for participating in a risque fundraiser that included nudity at a Southside bar that is now closed.

Comment from Tom Francis, spokesman from JFRD:

"We cannot elaborate on pending litigation because of integrity of process needs to be maintained.

"There was an internal investigation that no further action was warranted. The plaintiff has obviously decided to seek remedy though a different venue, and that's perfectly fine."

Bucker's attorney did not return our phone call for comment.


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