Fire Law Headlines and a Familiar Name

Some folks just can’t seem to keep themselves out of the headlines. For instance, take FDNY’s Joseph Cassano, who was suspended yesterday after he was cited for trespassing on the Jersey Shore.

Cassano, the son of former Fire Commissioner Sal Cassano, has been in the Fire Law Blog news at least six times prior to today. Back in 2013 he was forced to resign his position as an EMT in FDNY’s EMS Division after it was revealed that he had been making offensive social media posts. Cassano was reinstated in 2014 but ended up in the news again when FF Glen Merkitch, who resigned in 2013 after failing a drug test, sued to get his job back pointing to the preferential treatment that Cassano received as evidence of a double standard.

Cassano’s appointment to FDNY’s firefighter training academy and his recent graduation in April was met with objections from minority firefighters, who accused the department of coddling racists while pointing to him as evidence that FDNY’s good ol-boy network is alive and well. An African American applicant, Andre J. Laurent, who was rejected due to concerns about his background even mentioned Cassano in his federal court lawsuit.

Not much is known about the infraction Cassano is charged with, and what the impact will be upon his career. The fact he is a probationary firefighter means he may be at greater risk of washing out. Here is more on the story.

Here are the six earlier stories:

In other Fire Law Headlines, a Providence Dispatcher Lieutenant’s lawsuit was rejected by the RI Supreme Court. Here is a copy of the decision: 17-178

And a volunteer firefighter in Iowa was charged with drunk driving fire apparatus.

 

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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