Retired Texas Firefighter Sued For Sick and Vacation Overpayment

A retired Fort Worth firefighter has been sued by the city based on claims he was overpaid $63,737 when he left four years ago.

Fernando Gonzalez retired in 2013 and received a payment for unused sick and vacation time totaling $223,079. According to the City of Fort Worth, Gonzalez was actually owed $159,342. The city attributes the overpayment to a new payroll computer system coupled with human error.

A 2016 audit disclosed that 20 Fort Worth employees received a sick/vacation overpayment between 2013 and 2015, including 9 firefighters. The city contacted the affected employees and except for one who died, another who was in jail, and Gonzalez, all agreed to repay the overpayment. According to the Star Telegram, the city allowed the retirees to repay 75% of the amount owed to cover the costs of taxes that were withheld.

The suit against Gonzalez was filed June 30, 2017 in Tarrant County Court.

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.
x

Check Also

Farmington, Maine Explosion Victims Sue Companies Responsible for Blast

The family of a Maine firefighter who was killed in gas explosion last year, has filed suit today against two companies claimed to be responsible. The estate of Farmington Fire Department Captain Michael Bell and six Farmington firefighters filed suit in Franklin County Superior Court naming CN Brown and Techno Metal Post ME as defendants.

NJ Court Orders Firefighter Reinstated

A New Jersey firefighter who was terminated in 2017 over an issue with residency documentation submitted with his application, has been ordered reinstated with backpay by the Appellate Division of the NJ Superior Court. Christopher D'Amico was fired by the City of Plainfield because he altered an insurance card by accurately adding his address.