VIDEOS: OFR Interim Fire Chief Reacts to Hazing Incident Report
New Report on Hazing Incident
City leaders are releasing new information regarding an Odessa Fire Rescue investigation. Several OFR cadets claim that beginning on August 16, 2022, they were subjected to four days of what they consider hazing/punishment. We have the entire report for you to see as well as pictures of the harm cadets say was inflicted on them.
We’re also hearing from OFR Interim Fire Chief Jason Cotton for the first time regarding this issue.
NEW REPORT by Attorney Tommy Sheen:
Page 5 - Many were surprised that we contacted them as they believed that the investigation had gone nowhere. They were not made aware of any findings, punishments, policy changes, or alterations within the department due to the OFR internal investigation. No one from HR, the City Management, or City Attorney’s Office reached out to them regarding this series of incidents.
Making fun of a cadet due to his thick Hispanic accent
Page 9 - Multiple cadets suffered severe blisters and burns while performing a direct order from a superior. We would expect to find documented evidence of a thorough investigation consisting of a coordinated effort by the offices of the City Manager, City Attorney, Odessa Human Resources, Safety Department, and Odessa Fire Rescue. This did not occur in this instance.
Based on the interviews and the evidence provided to us, it appears that OFR siloed itself in this investigation.
We seriously question the motivations of the OFR leadership in charge based on the closed nature of the investigation and what appears to be subjective, minor punishment of the actors considering the harm caused. We think that the investigation conducted by OFR into the events of August 2022 concerning physical harm and hazing of the cadets was improper and insufficient. Based on our investigation, not only does sufficient evidence exists of hazing by OFR personnel against the cadets, but some evidence also exists of what appears to have been a coverup within the OFR regarding the events and circumstances leading to the injuries of the cadets.
NEW REPORT - Released Tuesday, April 11th of 2023 at the Odessa City Council Meeting. You can see the full document on our FB page.