Jim Baker’s Bad Bygones

Could the former firefighter’s recent invasive video recording have been prevented?

Jim Baker’s Bad Bygones

When former Austin Firefighter James Baker got arrested for secretly recording a colleague in the women's locker room last week, Austin Firefighters Assoc­ia­tion President Bob Nicks was quick to recall an incident in 2013 he feels should have taken Baker off his truck. Fellow firefighters had accused Baker – verbally and in writing – of inappropriately touching female patients. As reported last week, Nicks said he believes those claims should've been more thoroughly probed by AFD Chief Rhoda Mae Kerr.

Baker's attorney Larry Sauer called Nicks' past claims "a witch hunt," and noted the oddity that Nicks would raise the issue, since the union prez represented Baker in a private 2013 hearing before the Office of the Medical Director – which found nothing incorrect or unethical about Baker's practices. "So what you have is some firefighters that don't know what the hell they're doing, saying, 'Oh that looked inappropriate to me.' And they don't know medical procedures," said Sauer. (Though one of the complainants was also a paramedic with 10 years in the field.) Nicks scoffed at allegations that he's embarking on a crusade. "We've had two membership meetings and a special meeting on this issue," he said. "That's what the membership – especially the female members of our membership – the way they want to be represented."

A note to readers: Bold and uncensored, The Austin Chronicle has been Austin’s independent news source for over 36 years, expressing the community’s political and environmental concerns and supporting its active cultural scene. Now more than ever, we need your support to continue supplying Austin with independent, free press. If real news is important to you, please consider making a donation of $5, $10 or whatever you can afford, to help keep our journalism on stands.

Support the Chronicle  

READ MORE
More by Nina Hernandez
City Hires New Fire Chief
City Hires New Fire Chief
Recently retired chief in Atlanta moves west

Nov. 9, 2018

James Baker Receives His Sentence
James Baker Receives His Sentence
Disgraced firefighter gets five years probation, loses EMT and firefighting licenses

Nov. 9, 2018

KEYWORDS FOR THIS STORY

Jim Baker, Rhoda Mae Kerr

MORE IN THE ARCHIVES
NEWSLETTERS
One click gets you all the newsletters listed below

Breaking news, arts coverage, and daily events

Can't keep up with happenings around town? We can help.

Austin's queerest news and events

Updates for SXSW 2019

All questions answered (satisfaction not guaranteed)

Information is power. Support the free press, so we can support Austin.   Support the Chronicle