Bringing it Home in Johnston

There are so many possible titles for this story it was hard to pick:

  • You can run but you cannot hide
  • Due process: how much process is due?
  • Or even one of several that start with “knock knock…who’s there”

For Johnston, Rhode Island firefighter David Lashus the episode was no laughing matter as the town brought a pre-disciplinary hearing to his home in an effort to suspend him without pay.

Lashus had been off on extended disability leave since 2009 with a back injury. Earlier this week he was arrested on drug charges. In an effort to stop his right to collect 100% of his salary (which Rhode Island law grants to injured firefighters during their recuperation from line of duty injuries), the town knew they needed to give Lashus a hearing.

The problem was Lashus claimed he could not leave his home to attend a hearing due to a home confinement order. Problem solved – we will bring the hearing to you.



About Curt Varone

Curt Varone has over 40 years of fire service experience and 30 as a practicing attorney licensed in both Rhode Island and Maine. His background includes 29 years as a career firefighter in Providence (retiring as a Deputy Assistant Chief), as well as volunteer and paid on call experience. He is the author of two books: Legal Considerations for Fire and Emergency Services, (2006, 2nd ed. 2011, 3rd ed. 2014) and Fire Officer's Legal Handbook (2007), and is a contributing editor for Firehouse Magazine writing the Fire Law column.

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