Jim Baker’s Bad Bygones
Could the former firefighter’s recent invasive video recording have been prevented?
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."