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Firefighter doesn't deserve money

September 25, 2007

Re "L.A. to pay black firefighter $1.5-million settlement," Sept. 22

Firefighter Tennie Pierce was the victim of a prank no worse that those he inflicted on others, and the city pays him nearly $1.5 million to go away. Nothing about the Pierce situation speaks of differential treatment because of racial bias. While racism in the L.A. Fire Department must be rooted out, let's not confuse equal-opportunity pranksterism with racism.

Rather than saving the city money, this decision invites others to cash in and make claims for their portion of the pot of gold. Win or lose, the city will shell out millions for legal representation as such claims, frivolous or not, are filed.

Hal Bookbinder

Oak Park

Pierce should not get any money. Instead, the firefighters who pulled the prank should lose a month's pay.

Marie Cutrone


The article states that the Pierce deal gives Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa "the ability to say that he had held firm and sent a message to other would-be plaintiffs seeking money from the city."

That message: Los Angeles is an easy mark.

David Etheridge

Los Angeles

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