Author Archives: 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.

Comp Time For Civilian Fire Department Employees

Today’s burning question: Is a fire department secretary entitled to comp time? Admittedly she is a fire department employee, but she is a civilian employee of the city. Answer: First of all, no one is “entitled” to comp time, not even firefighters. The FLSA permits public employers to allow employees to accrue and use comp time.

Read More »

Connecticut Chief Sentenced For Embezzlement

A former Connecticut fire chief who was found guilty last year by a federal jury on two charges of embezzling fire department funds was sentenced to three months in jail and three years of supervised released. Paul Perrotti, the former fire chief in Middlebury, was accused of stealing upwards of $70,000 from the department through a scheme involving his side business.

Read More »

Family Sues Long Island Fire Department Over Theft Allegations

The family of an elderly Long Island volunteer firefighter who was accused of stealing cash from a fundraiser several year ago, is suing the fire company claiming the man had Alzheimer’s. John BaRoss Sr., 80, and a 50 year veteran of the Greenlawn Fire Department, was banned after being accused of pocketing cash while selling pizza at the annual Fireman’s Fair.

Read More »

Florida Department and Chief Sued Over Hotel Closure

A Florida fire department and fire chief are being sued by the owner of a hotel that was ordered closed due to fire code violations. Kenilworth Properties, owner of the Kenilworth Hotel, is suing the City of Sebring, Sebring Fire Chief Brad Batz and C-T Protection Inc.

Read More »

Pensacola Chief Sues for Retaliation

A white Florida fire chief who was terminated after raising concerns about the treatment of an African American deputy chief by the city’s human resource director, has filed suit in federal court alleging race discrimination and retaliation. Matthew Schmitt served as interim fire chief in Pensacola from 2010 until he was terminated last May.

Read More »

Providence Fire Faces Another Sexual Harassment Suit

The Providence Fire Department is facing another federal court lawsuit by a female officer alleging sexual harassment and discrimination. Rescue Captain Danielle Masse claims she was harassed by coworkers and ultimately disciplined by the department on account of her gender, her sexual orientation, and in retaliation for testifying for another female officer.

Read More »

Illinois Court Rules Against Backpay Award

The Illinois Court of Appeals has upheld a ruling of the IL Labor Relations Board that overturned a $3 million back pay award to a firefighter’s union. In 2008, IAFF Local 3405, Oak Lawn Professional Firefighters Association, filed an unfair labor practice charge against the Village of Oak Lawn for refusing to bargain over minimum staffing.

Read More »

6th Circuit Rules Against Retired Kentucky Firefighters on COLA Battle

The 6th Circuit has ruled against a retired firefighter and a retired police officer from Lexington, Kentucky who sought to block efforts to reduce their pension COLAs. The case dates back to 2013 when Lexington Mayor Jim Gray sought to address a pension shortfall – not by funding the pension – but by reducing the pensioners’ COLAs.

Read More »

Georgia City Sues County Over Emergency Response

A dispute between a city and a county in Georgia over the delivery of emergency services has spilled over into the courts. The City of Tifton is suing Tift County to stop the county from providing vehicle extrication and rescue services within the city’s corporate limits.

Read More »