NY Firefighter Convicted of Arson

A volunteer firefighter in New York has been convicted of burning two buildings that stood between his house and the house of his then-girl friend, so he could have a clear line of sight. Michael Watzka Jr. was convicted last week by an Ulster County jury. He was a member of the East Kingston Fire Department.

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NJ Firefighter Injured By Apparatus Following Celebration Files Suit

A New Jersey firefighter who was injured last year in a mishap with an engine following an out of town celebration, is suing the department and several firefighters. Brian Smith was part of a three-person crew from the South Hackensack Fire Department that took an engine to attend a “wet down” party at the Fair Lawn Fire Department on June 23, 2018.

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Pennsylvania VFD Treasurer Charged With Embezzlement

The treasurer of a Pennsylvania fire department is facing charges that he embezzled $93,000 from the department. According to The Bradford Era, Scott Andrew Luce is facing a total of 128 charges for stealing money from the Genesee Fire and Ambulance Department.

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At Will, Due Process and Just Cause

Today’s burning question: Does Loudermill apply in states that are “at-will”? Our city administrator said a prominent HR attorney told her that due process, progressive discipline, and a Loudermill hearing process does not have to be followed in our state because we are “at-will”. Answer: There is alot of confusion over this issue and well-intentioned attorneys who oversimplify the complexity of the law are not necessarily helpful.

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Fire Victims’ Family Seeks $2.2 Billion from New York City

An attorney representing the daughter of a woman who died in a fire along with her five children, has filed a claim with the city of New York for $2.2 billion alleging the city did not do enough to protect them as residents in a public housing project. Attorney Evan Oshan filed the claim on behalf of Raven Reyes, the daughter of Andrea Pollidore.

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Chicago Fire Prevails in Discrimination Suit

The Chicago Fire Department has prevailed in a lawsuit filed by a Hispanic firefighter who claimed he was the victim of a hostile workplace. Last Friday, the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois granted a summary judgment to the city in a suit brought by Firefighter Ricardo Gomez

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Zipper Clauses, Past Practices, and Discipline Prior to Exhaustion of Appeals

The Court of Appeals of Ohio, First Appellate District has upheld a grievance arbitration decision that found that a fire department breached a collective bargaining agreement when it imposed discipline before an employee’s administrative appeals have been exhausted. The case involved William Tillett, who was a lieutenant with the Anderson Township Fire Department.

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Two North Carolina Firefighters Fired Over Facebook Post

Two Brevard firefighters have been fired over a social media post that criticized the city manager for wearing a military uniform to a memorial day parade that was a mix of two different branches. Former firefighter Richard Carl Travis shared a photo of Brevard City Manager Jim Fatland on Facebook along with the comment...

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Niagara County Back In, Fire Company Remains Out Of Cadaver Suit

Appellate Division of the Supreme Court of NY has reinstated Niagara County in a lawsuit brought by the family of an accident victim whose body tissue was given by a coroner to a local fire chief for use in training cadaver dogs. At the same time, the court upheld the dismissal of a volunteer fire company from the same suit.

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LA County Groin Kick Suit Results in No Liability

The Second Appellate District of the California Court of Appeals has upheld a trial court ruling that a Los Angeles County fire captain who kicked one of his firefighters in the groin while demonstrating a self-defense move is not liable for the harm the resulted. The facts of the case are quite involved and go back to 2011.

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