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TS Radio Network: Whistleblower's with Gerald Williams & Yaida Ford

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Marti Oakley

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Whistleblower's! is presented in coordination with Marcel Reid and the annual Whistleblower's Summit in Washington D.C.

Gerald Williams is a 30-year firefighter for the US Forest Service. He held the highest credentials that a firefighter could obtain until he encouraged some of his subordinate crew members to file EEO complaints against the Agency. Those crew members were Af-Am and they worked on a hot shot crew called The Mt. Baker Snoqualmie Initial Attack Crew. They were the targets of racial epithets, unusually aggressive work outs, unfair citations. There was even a running joke between two white crew members that they should go on a "shooting rampage" and put visine in Williams' water bottle.

When Williams heard of the problems, he called for the crew to stand down citing safety concerns. He and five of the crew members sought legal counsel. Once the Agency received notice of Williams' action, he was not permitted to fight fires. Ultimately, the Agency claimed that it no longer had a record of 20-30 years of his credentials and as a result, he is no longer able to serve as a Division Supervisor or an Incident Commander. To add insult to injury, the Agency has demanded Williams to certify new firefighters although it will not allow him to go out and fight any fires even in a subordinate capacity.

YAIDA FORD is the managing principal of FORD LAW PROS PC. Yaida practices community associations law, estate planning, civil rights and employment law. In 2018, she won a verdict in a police brutality case against two Prince George's County Officers and two corporate defendants who were involved in the beating of an innocent black man. Yaida speaks on topics such as how to litigate municipal liability cases and more.

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