What’s making news in Minneapolis, reported by the Star Tribune’s team of city reporters. Send news tips to baird.helgeson@startribune.com.

Fire captain wins $420,000 verdict in retaliation suit

Posted by: Randy Furst under Politics and government, Public safety Updated: December 20, 2012 - 5:16 PM

A captain in the Minneapolis Fire department, who alleged she was demoted for criticizing a previous fire chief, won a $420,000 verdict from a federal jury in St. Paul on Thursday.

Jean Kidd, 53, who was removed as deputy fire chief by then-Fire Chief Alex Jackson in 2009, said Thursday she was “thrilled" by the decision and grateful that the jury believed her.

She had answered a survey conducted by the city to evaluate Jackson in which she criticized his management of the department. She and her lawyers contended that Jackson detected her writing style and moved her back to a captain’s position.

“We respect the jury process but were disappointed with the verdict,” said Minneapolis City Attorney Susan Segal. “….We continue to believe that our former chief acted in good faith.”

Amid criticism from City Council members over his management of the department, Jackson retired in February.


 

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