Long Saga Ends In West Palm Beach

It would appear that the long saga of West Palm Beach Fire Captain Rick Curtis is finally at an end with a settlement announced today that will resolve all outstanding suits and complaints.

Captain Curtis has been featured here at Fire Law Blog on at least five occasions, the most recent being last month when the Florida Public Employee Relation’s Board denied his claim that his union failed to adequately represent him during his termination over an off-duty drunk driving incident.

During his DUI arrest, Captain Curtis was video taped directing an expletive filled tirade at police officers. That video was later made public, he was convicted of DUI, and terminated from the department.

However, Captain Curtis was able to get the conviction thrown out by proving that the judge in his case had an undisclosed relationship with firefighters’ union vice-president with whom he was at odds. Captain Curtis was then acquitted, and sought to be reinstated to the department.

West Palm Beach Mayor Jeri Muoio announced the settlement today which calls for the city to pay Captain Curtis $200,000 in exchange for him dropping all pending lawsuits and claims. According to Mayor Muoio, “He has dropped his claim to be reinstated as an employee and dropped all lawsuits and pending lawsuits.”

More on the story.

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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