MPR interview is basis for another suit against fire chief

Bonnie Bleskachek
Minneapolis Fire Chief Bonnie Bleskachek.
MPR Photo/Brandt Williams

Fire Chief Bonnie Bleskachek spoke to Minnesota Public Radio for a story that aired in October. The portion of the interview in question was not broadcast, but is available on the MPR news Web site.

In the interview, Bleskachek was asked about a lawsuit against her by firefighter Kristina Lemon. In Lemon's complaint, she alleged that she was attacked by firefigther Shanna Hanson at the site of a fire in 2005 and claims that Bleskachek unfairly disciplined Lemon.

In the the interview, Bleskachek denied that she mistreated Lemon, but acknowledged there was a fight -- although she did not mention Hanson by name. However Attorney Marshall Tanick says there was no fight, and his client Shanna Hanson was defamed because it could be determined that Bleskachek was talking about her.

"It's a different type of case than the other cases," Tanick says of this lawsuit. "It has some similiarities. It has some differences. But it's obviously reflective of a serious problem."

Tanick also charges that Bleskachek violated data privacy laws by disclosing information that was not public.

Bleskachek's lawyer Jerry Burg claims the information was already made public in Lemon's lawsuit.

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