Latrobe Firefighters Sue City and Chief

Five members of a volunteer fire company in Latrobe, Pennsylvania have filed suit claiming their suspension and subsequent expulsion violated the First and Fourteen Amendments of the US Constitution. Christopher Blessing, Cody Giovannagelo, Fabian Giovannagelo, Nico Giovannagelo, and Ryan Jones filed suit naming the City of Latrobe, Mayor Rosemarie M. Wolford, the Latrobe Volunteer Fire Department, Fire Chief John Brasile, and LVFD President Charles McDowell, Jr.

The 69-page 345-paragraph complaint outlines in nauseating detail the concerns raised by the Plaintiffs’ over Chief Brasile’s leadership culminating in votes by the Latrobe Goodwill Hose Company No. 1 to remove him as fire chief. It is not clear from the complaint how the Latrobe Volunteer Fire Department and Latrobe Goodwill Hose Company No. 1 inter-relate, nor how the Chief’s removal from the Hose Company would remove him from the Latrobe Volunteer Fire Department, a separate legal entity.

What is clear is that the Plaintiffs accuse the defendants of a civil conspiracy to violate their Constitutional rights, disseminate false and defamatory information, and otherwise interfere with the workings of their fire company. The complaint includes a litany of things the Plaintiffs claim the fire chief did wrong.

Here is a copy of the complaint. It is not for the faint of heart:

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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