SAFD district chief suspended for inappropriate comments during female firefighter job recommendation

Chief Douglas Berry forfeits 15 days of leave in lieu of serving suspension

SAN ANTONIO – Years-old comments from a district chief with the San Antonio Fire Department have led to him being handed a 15-day suspension, city records released to the KSAT 12 Defenders confirm.

Chief Douglas Berry received the suspension in September and ultimately forfeited 80 hours of vacation leave in lieu of serving it, after the past comments came to light.

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City officials declined to describe exactly what Berry said, but some of the inappropriate comments were made in August 2018 after Berry was asked to make a job recommendation for a female firefighter, records show.

A month later, in September 2018, Berry again made inappropriate comments after returning from a Battle of the Badges boxing event.

On both occasions, Berry’s comments were made in front of subordinates and while on duty, his suspension records stated.

SAFD Chief Charles Hood became aware of the corroborated comments in April, records show.

Berry’s suspension was for rules violations which included conduct and behavior, relationships with co-workers and mutual respect.

During a discipline meeting with Hood, Berry apologized and said there had been a major adjustment moving from the field to a desk job.

Berry was featured in a KSAT story in May 2019 on how first responders collaborate during emergencies and large-scale events.

About the Author

Emmy-award winning reporter Dillon Collier joined KSAT Investigates in September 2016. Dillon's investigative stories air weeknights on the Nightbeat and on the Six O'Clock News. Dillon is a two-time Houston Press Club Journalist of the Year and a Texas Associated Press Broadcasters Reporter of the Year.

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