TAMPA (FOX 13) - She made a career fighting fires in Tampa, then spent two years in court fighting for her job.
Tanja Vidovic was fired from Tampa Fire Rescue the day after she filed a federal lawsuit against the department. She's been back to work about seven months but tells FOX 13 News the discrimination and retaliation continues, saying she constantly feels targeted and threatened by people at the department.
"I would love for me to be able to go to work and not be harassed or intimidated, any sort of fear of retaliation for speaking up for myself," said Vidovic.
The latest incident happened last Friday. Vidovic says she was at work and discovered someone had messed with a bag of her things she kept in a public closet.
"There ended up being a mannequin head on a stick shoved into my bag, and it was shoved in with such force that it broke the bag,” Vidovic said. “I took it as a personal threat to my safety, so I wanted to report it."
She pushed for a full investigation but says all she got was pushback from her superiors.
A police report was taken, but for information purposes only. In the paperwork, an officer writes "...it was apparent that no criminal violation of Florida state statute has occurred."
According to a chief's statement, the mannequin head was a Halloween prop that "...was simply placed in a public closet to get it out of sight."
Vidovic calls it yet another example of her concerns being disregarded.
"They could have said 'I’m so sorry, let's get this reported and handled and find out who did this.' That didn't happen."
We're told Tampa Fire Rescue HR is investigating other incidents Vidovic has brought to their attention since being back to work