You Can’t Make This Stuff Up Trifecta

There were three crazy fire law headlines in the news today, a YCMTSU trifecta:

  • An Orange County, California firefighter was arrested when he was caught on video stealing money from his captain’s wallet in the fire station.
  • The city of Houston is investigating a firefighter who allegedly placed his privates or a sex object on the back and neck area of another firefighter.
  • And in the UK, a firefighter who helped to nab a pedophile was fined 30 days pay because he swiped evidence (a computer disk) from the defendant’s home.

In Orange County, Captain Mark Ledford had been complaining that someone had been stealing cash from him in the station for at least the past year and a half. Police agreed to investigate and installed electronic surveillance equipment in the captain’s office. They then placed marked bills in the captain’s wallet. Nabbed on film was firefighter Gregory Mark Konishi, 49, a 25 year veteran. According to police, Konishi took money on two occasions. More on the story.

In Houston, the Office of Inspector General is investigating alleged sexual misconduct at Station 29. IAFF Local 341 President Jeff Canyon was quoted as saying “We have a storied history in the fire service in terms of pranks and jokes.  But I think everybody understands that there’s a limit and where that limit is.” More on the story.

In Merseyside, England, firefighter Roy Stewart allegedly took a disk from the home of Rob Hughes during a small fire. Hughes, the deputy headteacher at Wallasey School, later confessed to 13 counts of creating indecent photographs and computer-generated images of children.

FF Stewart was recently disciplined by the Merseyside Fire Service for taking the disk, despite the critical role it played in Hughes’ prosecution. Stewart was given a “final written warning” and fined a month’s pay. The Merseyside Fire Brigades Union is vowing an appeal. 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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