Atlanta fire chief suspended over book controversy

Atlanta fire chief suspended over book controversy

Atlanta Fire Chief Kelvin Cochran has been suspended without pay for one month because of authoring a religious book in which he describes homosexuality as a “sexual perversion” akin to bestiality and pederasty.

Mayor Kasim Reed’s spokeswoman Anne Torres said the administration didn’t know about “Who Told You That You Are Naked?” until employees came forward with complaints last week. In addition to suspending Cochran, Reed’s office has now opened an investigation to determine whether the chief’s actions violated the city policies or discriminated against employees.

Cochran has been ordered to undergo sensitivity training and has been barred from distributing copies of the book on city property after a number of firefighters said they received them in the workplace.

Reed said he was “deeply disturbed” by the sentiments Cochran expressed in his book and will “not tolerate discrimination of any kind” in his administration.

“I want to be clear that the material in Chief Cochran’s book is not representative of my personal beliefs, and is inconsistent with the administration’s work to make Atlanta a more welcoming city for all of her citizens — regardless of their sexual orientation, gender, race and religious beliefs,” Reed said in a statement on Monday.

Cochran was not available for interviews on Monday, according to Reed’s office. But according to a copy obtained by Channel 2 Actions News, Cochran said the book is a result of lesson plans he prepared for various men’s bible study groups.

Visit MYAJC.COM to learn how councilmembers and employees have responded.

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