ATLANTA - By actions and words, a lawyer said Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed has made it nearly impossible for former Atlanta Fire Chief Kelvin Cochran to get another job in the firefighting industry.
The attorney for Cochran made that claim right after presenting arguments in a lawsuit filed against the city of Atlanta.
It was earlier this year when Reed fired the well-respected chief. The action, not because of his management of the agency, but because of how Cochran handled a religious-themed book authored by the chief.
Atlanta's influential LGBT community complained about the writing, which includes critical references about the homosexual lifestyle.
Conservatives around the nation rallied to Cochran, claiming the punitive action was the result of the chief expressing his religious beliefs. The city countered by saying the problem is that Cochran handed his book out to at least 20 employees in the department.
The disciplinary action grew heated with sharp exchanges between Reed and Cochran. And those words are what Cochran's lawyers claim has damaged the fire executive's reputation.
A federal judge is in the middle of this now and will have to decide if Cochran's lawsuit should go forward or be dismissed.