Former Atlanta fire chief files religious discrimination complaint against city

Former Atlanta fire chief Kelvin Cochran, third from right, observes a moment of prayer as religious groups rally on Jan. 13 to support him following his termination in Atlanta. David Goldman, AP

Former Atlanta fire chief Kelvin Cochran, third from right, observes a moment of prayer as religious groups rally on Jan. 13 to support him following his termination in Atlanta.David Goldman, AP

Former Atlanta fire chief Kelvin Cochran, third from right, observes a moment of prayer as religious groups rally on Jan. 13 to support him following his termination in Atlanta.

ATLANTA — The former chief of Atlanta’s fire department has filed a federal complaint alleging that the city discriminated against him when he was fired for publishing a book that contained offensive comments on homosexuality.

The GA Voice reports that Kelvin Cochran filed a complaint with the federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. Cochran is being represented by the conservative legal group Alliance Defending Freedom.

The saga started with the discovery last November that Cochran self-published a book called “Who Told You That You Were Naked?” in which he compared homosexuality to pedophilia and bestiality, as well as made anti-Semitic and misogynistic remarks.

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An investigative report shows that Cochran didn’t have clearance to publish the book, which he later distributed to several subordinates at work, Reed said in a statement.

Reed suspended Cochran for 30 days, then terminated him on Jan. 6, citing Cochran’s failure to follow employee protocol. Cochran’s supporters held a rally the following week at the Capitol and marched to City Hall to deliver roughly 40,000 petitions asking the mayor to reinstate Cochran.

“He can get all of the lawyers he wants so that he can continue to have publicity and sell books, but he’s going to lose the legal case,” Reed told WAGA-TV. “What is not disputed is he never communicated with me, the chief executive officer, prior to the publication of the book. It’s clearly out of bounds.”

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