LA Settles with Former Fire Marshal For $800k

The City of Los Angeles has agreed to settle a lawsuit filed in 2017 by former Fire Marshal John Vidovich for $800,000. The suit alleged a conspiracy between the mayor and the firefighter’s union led to Chief Vidovich’s ouster.

Chief Vidovich claimed that Mayor Eric Garcetti gave in to political pressure from the United Firefighters of Los Angeles City Local 112, and improperly removed him as fire marshal in 2016. The union was concerned about complaints from its members relative to Chief Vidovich’s reorganization of the LAFD fire inspection program. The chief claimed he was trying to address major problems in the inspection program that included “illegal and fraudulent acts.”

The lawsuit alleged civil conspiracy, violations of the state labor code, intentional infliction of emotional distress and interference with a prospective economic advantage against bot the city and the union. Following his removal as fire marshal, Chief Vidovich was reassigned to a desk job and retired in 2017.

The LA City Council unanimously approved the settlement yesterday.

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

Topeka Prevails in Gender Discrimination Suit

The US District Court for the District of Kansas has granted summary judgment to the City of Topeka in a suit brought by a female firefighter alleging she was subjected to a hostile work environment and retaliation. Amy Bermudez, a 25-year veteran of the department, filed suit in 2018 alleging the harassment stretched back to 2014.

Florida Fire Department Accused of Military Discrimination

A former firefighter in Florida has filed suit claiming he was terminated because of his military service. Chris Merrell filed suit last week against the City of Clermont Fire Department under the federal Uniformed Services Employment and Re-employment Rights Act and Florida's version known as Florida Uniformed Servicemembers Protection Act.