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.
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