Connecticut Firefighter Demoted Over Facebook Comments

A Connecticut firefighter who posted comments about killing pit bulls on Facebook has been demoted and is now facing organized petition drives calling for his termination.

Richard Prince was the deputy fire marshal in the Torrington Fire Department. He posted a series of comments about harming and killing pit bulls, prompting an internal investigation.

According to Fire Chief Gary Brunoli “Per our investigation, we found out that he violated city policy by using city equipment, city phone, city time to do his posting for some of it.” Prince was demoted, costing him roughly $10,000 per year.

In the weeks since the discipline was announced, a number of web sites have appeared devoted to petitioning Chief Brunoli and the town to terminate Prince.  One web site, Care2 Petition, claims to have 38,863 signatures as of this date.

WFSB 3 Connecticut

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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