It was back in 2009 when then mayor Bill White met with some select members of the Houston Fire Department.
He wanted to know what he could do to straighten up the department. Back then, HFD was plagued by allegations of racism and sexism.
That was just after firefighter Jane Draycott claimed her room at a Houston Fire Station was ransacked. There were also foul messages scribbled on her walls.
"We need to do a better job," White said.
We've now learned the city of Houston didn't do enough to address the problems.
Sources tell us Senior Trial Attorney Lori Kisch with the Civil Rights Division from the Department of Justice was set up at City Hall. She spent part of this week interviewing several Houston firefighters.
We're told Kisch is investigating race issues and how female firefighters are treated in the department.
"It's the good old boys you know sticking together picking and chosing who they want and keeping other people out of the fire department," Otis Jordan said.
Jordan is a retired Captain with the Houston Fire Department. Through his career, he spent much of his time speaking before Houston's City Council. He complained about the culture at HFD.
Jordan calls it a culture that lacked the tolerance for the 100+ women on the 4,000 member force. He says several of his friends have been called in by the federal prosecutor for questioning.
"I think there are some people talking and it's a good shot and I'm hoping that they will the justice department will file a suit just like they've done in other states," Jordan said.
Officials with Houston's City Attorney's office refused to talk as well as the Chief of the Houston Fire Department.
We contacted Lori Kisch with the Justice Department who declined to comment. A spokesperson with the DOJ issued a statement saying: Isiah, I understand you called regarding the Houston Fire Department. The department declines comment.
Former Houston City Council member Jolanda Jones fought for female firefighters while in office. She also knew about the current the federal probe at HFD. She was not shocked.
"I sent a letter requesting they investigate," Jones said.
Jones, who's on vacation in Florida, says she hopes this federal probe is what is needed to clean up HFD.
"I can see the justice department coming in and...fixing it," Jones said.