Rhode Island City Seeks to Recoup Overpayment to Firefighters

The City of Warwick has filed suit against Warwick Firefighters, IAFF Local 2748 claiming that certain current and retired firefighters owe the city $385,000 in overpayments that the city allegedly made back in 2013. The payments were reportedly made pursuant to a memorandum of understanding that was never duly ratified by the city council and signed by the mayor.

Under the MOU, the firefighters were paid accrued sick time that was in excess of that allowed under the collective bargaining agreement that was in effect at the time. The city’s position is that because the MOU was not signed and approved, the payments were made illegally.

According to NBC 10 News, the city is seeking a court order that union members and retirees reimburse the city for the payments. NBC 10 News quoted from a statement issued by Mayor Frank Picozzi as saying “I want to make it clear that in no way was this the fault of our firefighters; they are hardworking, dedicated people. This is all the result of proper procedure not being followed.”

A copy of the complaint is not available but will be posted here when it is. Here is 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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