Thursday, April 7, 2016

Bob Kerrigan Deems The Racial Discrimination Lawsuits of Black Firefighters Frivolous?

Frivolous by definition in law: frivolous litigation is the practice of starting or carrying on lawsuits that, due to their lack of legal merit, have little to no chance of being won.

Local personal injury attorney Bob Kerrigan made the following statement in his March 8, 2016 "Bowling News" alluding to a suit filed by African American fire fighters against the City of Pensacola surrounding former racism in the Pensacola Fire Department:

He was asked about an employee who sued the city, who is now suspended, previously costing the city thousands. He said that although the employee lost the prior suit and the city had to pay thousands in lawyers’ fees, he encouraged other employees to file frivolous suits because that allowed him to support them when they lost, which is what good leaders do.

Bob Kerrigan has long been the Mayor's puppet master, receiving most, if not all, of Mayor Hayward's city emails, forwarded to him for response and guidance.  See the proof below.

From: Bob Kerrigan [] 
Sent: Friday, August 07, 2015 9:27 AM
To: Ashton Hayward 
Subject: RE: Class Against Lawsuit Filed Against the City of Pensacola

A simple legal issue. I would send to John D and he can start on it. He will best be able to advise you. Don’t worry about this one. If the fees are illegal the city will have to reimburse the customers some amount and that would be a compromised settlement amount.

From: Ashton Hayward []
Sent: Friday, August 07, 2015 9:02 AM
To: Bob Kerrigan 
Subject: Fwd: Class Against Lawsuit Filed Against the City of Pensacola

Sent from my iPhone

Kerrigan has been so overly involved with City issues he has actually run off senior staff to the Mayor.  One senior staffer who resigned stated they would not work another day for Bob Kerrigan.

Did the Citizen's elect you as Mayor Bob???

Let's get to my point here!  Kerrigan states that the firefighter's lawsuit was frivolous.  I can not see what is frivolous about a lawsuit that documented decades of racial discrimination and outright workplace tolerance of racist behavior. All of this activity was ignored by City Administrations and dismissed with verbal warnings to individuals involved, with some repeat offenders actually being promoted all the way to Fire Chief.

This past summer I studied the cases that have been filed over the years by black firefighters and the disgusting ignorance displayed by past City Administrations and their complete cover up of the racist behavior.  Outside law firms were hired to minimize racist actions and dismiss racial discrimination issues brought to the City HR department.  Hundreds of thousands of taxpayer dollars were spent to defend undefendable actions.

I posted the affidavits of several fire fighters regarding their treatment. These statements are sworn to under oath.  You can read what they endured at the link below.

Recently, Mr. John Newton, the first black firefighter hired by the PFD, came to City Council and shared only "part of his story" with the City Council. The transcripts of his statement to Council and to City Administrator Eric Olson, himself subject of an EEO complaint, are at the link below.

Evidently, this documented history of racial discrimination is what our Mayor's closest ally and supporter Bob Kerrigan deems FRIVOLOUS??? This is the type of advice and guidance our Mayor is receiving daily from one of his primary campaign contributors and confidant.

But Mr. Kerrigan claims he anonymously funded a MLK non-violence training.

Mr. Kerrigan, only you know where you truly stand!  In my opinion, Mr. Kerrigan, you appear arrogant, elitist and lack any situational awareness with regard to the issues these firefighters have faced.

From where you sit, you must choose to ignore this truth about the past in our community.

The firefighters that stood up to the racial discrimination in our PFD did so to make sure the black men and women to follow them as our City's public safety officers would NEVER have to face these issues again.  They have made a difference in their department and change has occurred because of their courage. 

Can you imagine a picture of frivolous?
I can!  Notice who is in the background!


Crazy Old Punk said...

Are those eyebrows alive? Looks like a couple of white caterpillars marching above his eyes.

Anonymous said...

So does calling a lawsuit mean that racists acts did not occur? Because I couldn't care less if the lawsuit was won or lost. What I'm concerned with is whether or not racists acts actually happened. That's how people who really oppose racism feel.

That's the difference between honest people and those who try to deflect with lawyer speak and other games. These are games that idiots like Rusty Wells and Bob Kerrigan have played all of their lives. They are paid well to protect racists and cover up racism at all costs. The investigation that's now over 70 days long is all you need to know about how the city endeavors to keep racism alive by acting like it doesn't exist.

George Hawthorne said...


"From where you sit, you must choose to ignore this truth about the past in our community."

Unfortunately, it isn't "the past", the discriminatory actions and behaviors haven't stopped.

Look where we are? discrimination reports, retaliation, suspensions of victims, crazy investigations and an Kerrigan in the middle ... yelling "I am not a racist"

Anonymous said...

Mr. Hawthorne,

You sir are exactly right! The bigotry in Pensacola is incredible and with people like Bob Kerrigan and Rusty Wells around, things won't be changing anytime soon.

Anonymous said...

^Edit: So does calling a lawsuit "frivolous" mean that racist acts did not occur?

Anonymous said...

I heard that it was settled, no one admitted any guilt in the suit...

Anonymous said...

The lawsuit was never settled, but you're right that no one ever admits any guilt regardless of the evidence and testimony of eye witnesses.

Anonymous said...

Unbelievable that 50 years after the Civil Rights Movement we're here still dealing with many of the same issues. It truly saddens me to think that racism will exist throughout my lifetime and beyond. Tragically, most people say they're not racists and claim to be against it, yet it's still so prevalent in our society today. If there are so few racists and so many people claiming to be against it, why is there still so much of it?

It's my opinion that there is so much denial about its existence that it makes it next to impossible to address. Perhaps that's the point! I've never seen a UFO, Sasquatch, or the Loch Ness Monster, but people talk about them all the time. Racism occurs daily, I've witnessed and experienced it first hand, but very few want to really discuss it.

Then there are those who exacerbate things by accussing those who refuse to bury their head in the sand of being racists and causing racial discord. My response to Bob Kerrigan and those like him is simple.


Anonymous said...

Also Anonymous 8:34, isn't it astonishing how a rich, elderly Caucasian male, who has NEVER experienced discrimination because of the color of his skin; but on the contrary, has benefitted his entire life because of the color of his skin is somehow an authority on what constitutes racism.

Here's how a typical "investigation" into racism goes.

White guy #1 asks White guy #2, Are you racist?

White guy #2 responds, "Absolutely not"

White guy #2 then obligatorily explains how that is impossible based on the "fact" that he has black friends or quickly points to some other random, sometimes "anonymous" deed which they've now made public.

White guy #1 then responds, "Case closed".

With that being said, the good thing about racism is that the old tricks and dialogue never changes much which makes it easily identifiable no matter how someone tries to dress it up!

Anonymous said...

What we have watched unfold before our very eyes is the direct result of racism going unchecked.

Anonymous said...

Denying the existence of racism has been a way to ease guilt over the racial injustices that we see all the time in this country.

It would be very interesting to know why Kerrigan would call a lawsuit frivolous after claiming to have no knowledge or interest in said lawsuit.

Anonymous said...

How do you settle nooses found in the workplace?

How do you settle ongoing racism from city hall?

How do you settle when attitudes have never changed?

How do you settle when racists like Hayward, Kerrigan, Olson, Sisson, Wells, etc are still involved with making the decisions that effect black employees and black citizens?

How do you settle when a workplace is so hostile you can be treated like the Chiefs have been treated?

The only thing that's been "settled" is the fact that Pensacola has "settled" for racist leadership which doesn't mind committing open acts of discrimination at every opportunity.