The following is a transcript of a telephone conversation I had with Gertrude R. Ticho, M.D. on July 2, 1993 in which Dr. Ticho denied ever having spoken to Dennis M. Race, Esq. at the law firm of Akin, Gump, Strauss, Hauer & Feld. The D.C. Department of Human Rights (DHR) made a finding of fact, based on the sworn declaration of Dennis Race in Freedman v. Akin, Gump, Hauer & Feld, that Dr. Ticho advised the firm that a harassment complaint I had lodged against my supervisor and others in late October 1991 was the product of a psychiatric disorder and that I might become violent:
"6. Respondent also sought outside professional guidance because of the emotional and psychological nature of Complainant’s allegations and his coworkers responses. Respondent contacted an unnamed counselor from its Employee Assistance Program and an outside psychiatrist. Dr. Gertrude Ticho identified Complainant’s behavior, putting a negative meaning to virtually every event as “ideas of reference” and cautioned that individuals in similar circumstances may become violent. After Respondent’s investigators consulted with Complainant’s supervisor and Respondent’s Management team, Respondent terminated Complainant’s employment."
Akin Gump did not file with DHR any contemporaneous documentation memorializing the alleged consult.
I spoke with Dr. Ticho again three months later, in October 1993, at which time Dr. Ticho vehemently denied ever having had any contact with anyone at Akin Gump.
GF: Yes, May I speak to D. Gertrude Ticho, please?
ET: Who is speaking?
GF: Gary Freedman.
ET: Just a second. [Gerti? Gerti?]
GT: Yea? Hello.
GF: Yes. My name is Gary Freedman.
GF: Ah. I understand that . . . I used to be an employee of the law firm of Akin Gump.
GF: And I understand that you spoke with a Mr. Dennis Race back in late October 1991, and that you provided a representation regarding my mental state to Mr. Race.
GT: Regarding your mental state?
GF: Yes, and that you advised Mr. Race that I was potentially violent.
GT: No. That must be a mistake.
GF: Hm-hm. Can I read, I have a paper filed with the Department of Human Rights, The District of Columbia Department of Human Rights.
GF: Can I read you what it says . . .
GF: About you? Yes. It says here that . . .
GT: What, what is the name?
GF: Ah, Dennis, my, my name?
GT: No. Who . . .
GF: Yes. The person you supposedly spoke with . . .
GT: Yea. But my name is Dr. Gertrude Ticho.
GF: That’s correct. It’s spelled G-E-R-T-R-U-D-E T-I-C-H-O.
GT: Correct. Yea.
GF: Yes. Ah, the document states that Akin Gump, that’s the name of the law firm . . .
GF: Contacted an unnamed counselor--well, wait a minute, they also contacted a counselor,
GF: And I spoke with the counselor [Judy Peres, LCSW], she said that there were never any such contacts.
GF: Ah, it says here: “Dr. Gertrude Ticho identified Complainant’s behavior,” that’s me,
GF: “putting a negative meaning to virtually every event as ‘ideas of reference,’ and cautioned that individuals in similar circumstances may become violent,
GT: Certainly not.
GT: [clears throat]
GF: Um, I was wondering if, ah, you would be willing to provide . . .
GT: I don’t even think I have seen this person.
GT: I don’t think so.
GT: I can look it up, but [clears throat] I, I would know, if I’d seen, I would, now at this moment remember if I had seen someone from Akin Gump.
GT: I’m sure I have not.
GF: Yes, um, it seems to me that such an action would be unethical.
GT: I would say so, yes [laughs].
GF: Yes. Would you be willing to provide a written statement that you never spoke with Dennis Race about me.
GT: Yes. Yes. You must, ah, send me the statement as you want it and I’ll sign it.
GT: What’s your name please?
GF: My name is Gary Freedman.
GT: I’m hundred percent sure. First, I would never say such a thing about someone I have never seen, hm?
GF: Mm-hm. Yes. Um.
GT: I might say such a thing to a battered woman, yea [laughs], but, em, not even that.
GT: So, write what you want to, ah, what is pertinent to your situation, and I’ll sign it.
GF: All right, ah, well, I would appreciate that very much. You see my former employer terminated my employment based on these supposed statements. Ah, the employer determined that, ah, it would be negligent to have me remain on the firm’s premises, based on the statements of this psychiatrist.
GT: Rice [sic]? What was his name?
GF: Dennis Race. R-A-C-E.
GT: I’ve never seen him.
GF: Mm-hm. Ok. Well, I appreciate this very much, and I’ll send you, ah, a statement that you can sign stating that you never spoke with Dennis Race concerning me.
GT: Good. Good. Good.
GF: All right, thank you very much, Dr. Ticho.
GT: You’re most welcome.
GF: All right, Goodbye.