Published October 17, 2013
A lawyer for a Baton Rouge firefighter who was fired this summer after department officials said he violated policy by filming a scene of a raunchy film inside a firehouse said his client's termination is a violation of his First Amendment rights.
The Advocate newspaper reports that Dewey Allen, 40, made an appeal to the Municipal Fire and Police Civil Service Board, which can vote to reinstate him after a hearing next month.
The veteran firefighter's attorney, Floyd J. Falcon, has not disputed that the content of the 2011 film could be seen by some as risqué and might be objectionable to "church-going America," but his appeal says the movie had nothing to do with his job performance.
"The department is attempting to censor the off-duty activities of its firemen and impose its perceived moral standards on its fireman," the appeal said, according to The Advocate's report.
The paper reported that Falcon said he saw no evidence that a scene in "Mississippi Shakedown" was filmed inside a firehouse and said his client has the right to "do anything that's not pornographic." He described the film in the report as a crime drama with scantily –clad women and drugs.
Baton Rouge Fire Chief Ed Smith reportedly wrote in a disciplinary letter that "We as public servants are entrusted by the public to perform to the best of our abilities and not be inhibited by the use of alcohol or illegal drugs while on duty."