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Will The Case of the $2.7 Million Can of LAFD Dog Food Be Decided Today?

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After hearing emotional testimony yesterday by the African-American LA firefighter who claimed racism when his cohorts mixed dog food into his spaghetti, the Los Angeles City Council could decide today whether they will overrule the Mayor's veto of the multi-million dollar settlement.

Tennie Pierce (no relation) claimed yesterday that the photos that showed him apparently shaving some fellow firemen were all done in fun, quite different than the pet food that was served to him without his knowledge.

"Yes, we do have what you call hazing, we do have what you call pranks, but there's a certain level you have to go to, and a certain level that has to be stopped," Pierce said. "I was involved in those pictures, I don't deny it, but so were many others," he said. "But those pictures were done in love to guys who were promoted, to guys who had a long stint with the Fire Department."

Genie Harrison, Pierce's lawyer, said the firefighter in the photo has a signed declaration that says it was a hoax.

"The person who is the alleged victim of the shaving is saying that they did not actually shave him, they staged it and they took the photos and these things are shown at retirement parties," Harrison said. - LA Times

All was going well for Pierce when he was awarded a $2.7 million settlement to prevent the matter from going to a jury trial -- juries are known to grant enormous sums of money to people who they feel are victimized -- until
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other photos involving the firefighters were leaked to KFI radio personalities John & Ken, showing Pierce partaking in bizarre and apparently degrading hijinks at the expense of others.After his testimony explaining that the alleged targets were in on the joke/celebration in their cases, but that he was duped into thinking that he was eating delicious spaghetti in his case, all three Black Council members agreed with Pierce that he was a victim of racism.

"Whatever anyone says about me, I've always tried to do what's right," Pierce said yesterday to the council. "This is wrong. If four black firemen did it to a white fireman, I would stand up [with] the white fireman and say it was wrong."

Because three members were absent yesterday the matter will be voted on today, and could result in a lesser settlement or a decision to let a judge or jury decide what's fair.

LAT columnist Steve Lopez writes in today's paper: "Seems to me there's a difference between hazing someone who was a willing participant — as Pierce seemed to be doing — and sneaking Alpo into someone's spaghetti. But what do I know?"

AP photo by Ric Francis