Mayor Appoints Herself Fire Chief of Massachusetts City

The mayor of a Massachusetts city has appointed herself fire chief amidst growing strife within the department. Medford Mayor Breanna Lungo-Koehn appointed herself fire chief today.

This comes on the heels of a lawsuit filed against the city by IAFF Local 1032 Union President Walter Buckley claiming the city has refused to pay promised raises and compensation. Buckley’s suit, filed in his own name, was brought in Middlesex County Superior Court as a class action suit.

The suit alleges a single count of a violation of Massachusetts’ wage payment law, Mass General Laws. Chapter 149, § 148. Here is a copy of that lawsuit:

Updated: March 9, 2024 – Mayor Lungo-Koehn has reversed her decision and decided to appoint an interim chief from within the department.

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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