A jury in the District of Columbia has ruled in favor of former Fire Chief Dennis Rubin and the DC Fire Department in the highly controversial lawsuit, Theresa Cusick v. District of Columbia. Cusick was the former General Counsel for DCFD.
Back in 2007, Chief Rubin requested that Cusick be transferred just 3 months after his appointment. Among other things, Chief Rubin cited her allegedly unprofessional attitude and inappropriate use of offensive street vernacular. Cusick claimed that Chief Rubin removed her as punishment after she told him about concerns she had relating to Assistant Chief Brian Lee.
After her transfer, Cusick filed suit in DC Superior Court claiming a whistleblower violation. You may recall that portions of Chief Rubin’s videotaped deposition were allegedly leaked by Cusick’s lawyers to a whistleblower group that produced an edited and narrated YouTube video. By the way, does the DC Bar really allow attorneys to use YouTube and other social media outlets to attack the character of witnesses in ongoing litigation?
The video didn’t seem to influence the Superior Court jury too much as they handed down their verdict Tuesday. It is the second major legal victory for the embattled former chief in the past week. Last Friday, a Federal Court granted him and the District of Columbia a summary judgment in a suit brought by a Black female fire captain, Vanessa Coleman, who claimed race and sex discrimination, along with 1st Amendment and whistleblower violations. More on that story.