In pursuit of an apparent literature anomaly, S- and R-6-methyl-6,7- dihydro-2H-benzo[a]-quinolizin-2-one-3-carboxylic acids (12 and 22) were synthesized by an unambiguous route from optically active norephedrines, and their antibacterial potencies were measured. Against Gram-negative microorganisms and DNA gyrase a preference for S-absolute configuration was found whereas R-absolute stereochemistry was more active against Gram-positives. These results are in partial conflict with an earlier report. In an attempt to enhance potency, racemic 10-fluoro-9-piperazinyl (35) and related analogues were synthesized by a novel route. The latter analogues were surprisingly unimproved in potency. The implications of these findings are briefly discussed.