by Dan Gibson
A firefighter is taking the City of Phoenix to court because of a pasta-related prank gone too far, that he felt led him to be sent to an undesirable gig:
[Frank] Cheatham, a deputy chief shift commander with 24 years on the job, claims he "admonished" supervisors for "specifically, two depictions of a penis and testicles-openly displayed in the workplace at Fire Station 1." This was in November 2009.
Cheatham says the graffiti created a sexually hostile workplace and he "admonished the supervisors at Fire Station 1 that such drawings were inappropriate and would not be tolerated in the future."
Then came the retaliation, Cheatham says in the complaint.
"Soon thereafter, Chief Cheatham received a large brown envelope in interoffice mail containing two small pieces of pasta, one of which resembled a penis and the other of which resembled a vagina.
"The piece of pasta resembling a vagina had Chief Cheatham's first name ('Frank') written on it.
"Soon thereafter, in February of 2010, Chief Cheatham began hearing rumors in the Department that he would be removed from his position as Deputy Chief Shift Commander of South Shift Command.
"In March of 2010, Chief Cheatham was officially informed by telephone by his supervisors at the Phoenix Fire Department that the Department had in fact decided to remove him from his position of Deputy Chief Shift Commander of South Shift Command and involuntarily transfer him to the Department's 'Safety Division.'
"Chief Cheatham's job duties at the Fire Department's 'Safety Division' are undefined, do not involve the supervision of firefighters, do not require him to exercise his management skills, and leave him with little to do all day."