NewsCovering Colorado


Denver pays firefighter $100K after being secretly recorded

Posted at 3:36 PM, May 28, 2021

DENVER (AP) — A female firefighter in Colorado will receive $100,000 in a lawsuit settlement against the Denver Fire Department after a former fire department lieutenant placed a secret camera in her fire station bedroom and recorded her changing clothes, city officials said.

Denver City Council approved the settlement after the woman filed a discrimination charge against the department with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, The Denver Post reportedWednesday. The Post did not name the firefighter because she is a victim of sexual harassment.

A jury convicted former lieutenant Daniel Flesner in October of criminal invasion of privacy and attempting to tamper with physical evidence. Court records show he was sentenced in January to two years of probation, therapy and a mental health screening.

He retired two days after the camera was discovered. The female firefighter found the camera — which looked like a phone charger — in her room in March 2019 after hearing an echo of her voice.

“Because Defendant Flesner was able to destroy evidence it is not known for how long he had spied on Plaintiff, nor whether he shared the videos with anyone else,” the woman’s lawsuit said.

The firefighter was the only woman who worked at the station.

“DFD leadership has agreed to take a number of steps to ensure female firefighters feel safe and respected and that individuals like Lt. Flesner are held accountable for any harm they may cause,” Denver Department of Public Safety spokesperson Kelli Christensen said.

The department said the changes include requiring additional sexual harassment training, an outside review of discrimination and harassment policies and meetings between female employees and department leaders on equity.

Attorneys for the female firefighter did not immediately respond to requests seeking comment.