Firefighter Seeks Public Records on Legal Costs of Privatization Battle

An Illinois firefighter has filed a public records suit in hopes of exposing how much local officials in a neighboring village have spent on efforts to privatize their fire department.

Scott Moran, a lieutenant with the Homewood Fire Department, alleges that the Village of North Riverside refused his request for public records that would show how much the village has spent on legal fees associated with hiring a private fire department. The village has been battling North Riverside Firefighters IAFF Local 2714 before the Illinois Labor Relations Board and in state court, seeking to unilaterally break the collective bargaining agreement.

Moran is represented by the law firm of Cornfield and Feldman LLP, who also represents Local 2714. He originally requested the information from the village on January 3, 2017 in an effort to access the information in advance of village elections on April 4. The suit was necessary after months of stonewalling by the village. According to the complaint:

  • “The voters have a right under FOIA to know the total cost of this litigation to inform their vote in choosing a candidate for mayor.”
  • “It is imperative that the requested documents be produced prior to April 4.”

Here is more on the story.

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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