Female firefighter: I found a camera pointed at my bunk

The lawsuit says other firefighters would spy on her in the shower, hid sex toys in her bunk, stole her underwear and made sexual jokes

Albuquerque Journal

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — An Albuquerque firefighter in the midst of sexual harassment lawsuit against the city said she found a camera pointed at her bunk at her fire station Wednesday.

Adele Parker, who also goes by Adele Ortega, said the camera added to a long list of sexual jokes and harassment against her in her 13 years as a firefighter.

“It’s not a nice place to work right now,” she said in an interview Thursday.

Parker’s lawsuit filed against the city in 2013 accuses other firefighters of walking in and spying on Parker in the shower, hiding sex toys in her bunk, stealing her underwear, watching pornography at fire stations, grabbing her, making sexual jokes at her expense and exposing themselves.

The complaint also states that Albuquerque Fire supervisors, including Chief David Downey, have made sexually suggestive comments about her.

The trial for the lawsuit is scheduled to start in April in front of state District Judge Nan Nash.

“Here we are two months from trial and AFD can’t control its firefighters,” said Michael Cadigan, Parker’s attorney.

Downey said in a statement that the department will investigate Parker’s allegations and how department administrators handled them.

“The claims made by Ms. Parker’s attorney will be fully investigated as part of her lawsuit against the department,” he said.

The police were called to Fire Station 16, on Juan Tabo near Montgomery, on Wednesday to investigate the camera, APD spokesman Tanner Tixier said. It’s not clear if the camera ever recorded Parker and police didn’t release any more information about the call.

There was also a piece of fruit made to look like a female sex organ tacked to a door of Parker’s room.

“It’s either a threat or a joke that’s not funny or somebody was trying to film her,” Cadigan said.

Parker said there’s been a lot of backlash against her since she filed the lawsuit.

She said she wasn’t given enough time to recover from an on-the-job accident that injured her shoulder, and she said she hasn’t been considered for other positions with the fire department she was interested in.

“I’ve always gone into this saying I want it to be a better place for any future female firefighters … for the little girls who want to grow up to firefighters,” she said.

Copyright 2015 Albuquerque Journal
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