Houston Chronicle
Reprinted with Permission

A Houston firefighter who alleged she was discriminated against at her firehouse was accused Tuesday of shoplifting at a Wal-Mart in the Spring area.

Jane Ena Draycott was granted bond and released after her arrest on Monday night in Spring.
(Harris County Precint 4)

Harassed Houston Firefighter Reports to Work

Jane Draycott, 41, is charged with theft, a misdemeanor, according to the Harris County judicial records.

She is free on $500 bond.

Draycott, of Magnolia, could not be reached for comment. Acting Houston Fire Department Chief Rick Flanagan said the department is awaiting the results of the investigation to determine how to address Draycott’s status and that she will remain on duty until then.

Draycott left work early on Monday because of an unspecified injury, Fanagan said. She was arrested about 9:30 p.m. at a Wal-Mart Super Center at 21150 Kuykendahl near FM 2920, said Assistant Deputy Chief Mark Herman of the Harris County Constable’s Office Precinct 4.

Draycott attempted to take a DVD player and other items, including a bag of ice, from the store without paying for them, Herman said. He said the merchandise was valued at about $200.

Store security staff stopped her and called authorities.

Draycott was one of two female firefighters who reported finding racist and sexist graffiti on their dormitory walls inside Fire Station 54 in July 2009.

She later filed a law suit against the city of Houston.

The lawsuit, filed in Harris County state district court, lists allegations of harassment against Draycott leading up to the graffiti incident, including at least one instance of unwanted sexual advances that went unpunished.

Draycott’s employment attorney, Joe Ahmad, had the lawsuit dismissed a few weeks ago because he felt he had “filed it prematurely” and should have waited until the U.S. Equal Opportunity Commission had completed its investigation.

That investigation is pending.

Chronicle reporter Terri Langford contributed to this article.

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Jack she made her bed when she lied about the writting on the wall. Out of every firefighter that works out of that station everyone was subjected to a hand writting analysis she was the only one that did not do the analysis do i feel sorry for her no She was caught stealing in uniform the jury has come to judgement,. and i was born in Texas raised in Texas and i do chew baccy
Okay so I was right, you weren't born in this country. So see, here in the U.S. one gets a trial, where all the evidence the state has is presented, and countered by the defendant, culminating in a decision by the jury as to guilty or innocent.

What you're suggesting (or verbalizing) is essentially lynching a person who has been deemed guilty by a mob (in your case, a mob of one but still...). Fortunately we are rather strict about enforcing the law as well as the rights of the accused.

So how do you handle it down in Texico, mob rule still? Got that thar a hangin tree do ya? Chewin' baccy causes mouth cancer (so the gumint says).
Darn Jack u know opionions are like ass holes everyone has one and they all stink. But she did it now she has to face the fact that she is still on camera stealing. So you Jack would believe anyone stealing caught on camera saying they did not do it is not guilty. Hell let her get a job in your dept. you can put in a good word for her

Innocent until proven guilty has been a cornerstone of the judicial system.. even in Texas...

Even though Walmart has video cameras everywhere... the story never mentioned Ms. Draycott being on camera.. is that speculation on your part?

She should be placed on administrative leave until a jury decides if she is guilty or not. If found guilty, the City of Houston will have to deal with it.

I am rather fastidious about my personal hygiene so you may not be all that correct in your assessment.

What she was seen on camera doing may NOT have been what she has been charged with.

I don't necessarily think that anyone convicted of a felony should be a firefighter, but for a misdemeanor, I'd reserve my judgment. But since she has NOT yet been convicted, I'll with hold judgment.

At this point though, all I can really say with any certainty is I'm glad I live in the U.S. and not texicoland.
I see what your saying jack and i agree how does walmart's security know she was stealing thos item's ? Ron has a point it was never mentioned in the article about her being caught on camera,for all we know the security officer could have very well mistaken her for someone that looks like her that has been spotted in there stealing before. I have seen it alot i work for walmart and i have seen people getting stopped by the security aka D-99 for stuff like that they have a thing for jumping the gun for something as petty not showing your receipt to the door greeter or to setting off the sense-o-matic .
I can't speak as to how it works in the U.S. but I worked loss prevention in canada, Here you have to follow a set of steps very carefully before making an arrest, I would have known she was stealing the items because I would have followed all the steps including the last one which is making the arrest outside the store after she had exited making no attempt to pay.
The only reason that this story is making the news is because of the very bitter and public accusations that have been made in Draycott's filing of a sexual harassment lawsuit against the Houston FD and the City of Houston.
Otherwise, it would not have made the AP wire.
Those cases are not settled to my knowledge and I am sure that anything to do with the court filings on the sexual harassment case is coming to Draycott on advice from attorney.
Currently, Draycott is ACCUSED of shop-lifting. If there is video, fine. It will help the prosecution. If you haven't seen the video, then you are speculating that there is video.
Regardless, the video, if there is any, is just evidence in a case of shoplifting.
I'm sure the major networks will break into their shows when the verdict is announced in this one!
Each person can handle stress in different ways. Is there a lot of stress in Firefighting? Yes there is. Is there more stress for female Firefighters, sure is. No matter how good they are, they still have to always prove it to the men. Why is that? Because most men still don't think a woman should be a Firefighter. I am not one of those men. Is her tolerance level lower than others? Could be. Did the City or the Department ever notice changes in a person that would put the light on that there is a potential problem brewing as in this case?
She needs to be checked out, I agree. Yes, it makes a bad name for all firefighters, female and male, but there has to be a reason she did this. At least she didn't hurt anyone except herself and her family. Lets hope she gets the treatments and help she needs.

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