Fort Worth Captain Accepts Demotion – But Keeps His Job

A Fort Worth Fire Captain has accepted a 2 step demotion, but has been permitted to keep his job as a result of a settlement of the civil service appeal of his termination.

Captain Steven Perez was fired on June 15, 2009 after an investigation concluded that he stole equipment from the fire department to use on his personal fire truck, and at least initially tried to blame a lieutenant for the missing equipment.  The lieutenant confronted Perez about the allegations, and subsequently filed a complaint with the department. Among the items allegedly taken were axes, pike poles and a rotary saw.

An administrative investigation was carried out in the case, resulting in Perez's termination. The police investigated, but declined to press charges. Perez appealed his termination through the civil service process and a settlement was reached. Under the agreement, Perez’s  termination was reduced to 167 day suspension, along with a demotion to fire engineer. He returned to work November 30, 2009. 

About Curt Varone

Curt Varone has over 45 years of fire service experience and 35 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, 4th ed. 2022) and Fire Officer's Legal Handbook (2007), and is a contributing editor for Firehouse Magazine writing the Fire Law column.

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