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Grand Jury Indicts California Fire Chief for Manslaughter

2 days 20 hours ago
A California fire chief has been indicted for involuntary manslaughter arising out of a 2017 wildland fire that claimed one life. Calaveras County District Attorney Barbara Yook announced the indictment of Mokelumne Hill Fire Protection District Fire Chief Michael Ray Dell’Orto.
Curt Varone

Louisiana Firefighter Charged with Arson

3 days 21 hours ago
A volunteer firefighter in Iberia Parish, Louisiana is facing charges that he set a vacant house on fire on the 4th of July. Kentrelle Beasley, Jr., age 18, was charged with simple arson following an investigation by the Louisiana State Fire Marshal’s office.
Curt Varone

Lansing Firefighter Files Second Race Discrimination Lawsuit

4 days 20 hours ago
A Lansing firefighter who sued the city last year alleging race discrimination, has filed a separate lawsuit against the mayor, the former interim fire chief, and the former firefighter’s union president. Michael Lynn Jr. filed suit last week in Ingham County Circuit Court naming Mayor Andy Schor, former Interim Chief David Purchase, and former fire union President Eric Weber.
Curt Varone

Ohio Firefighter Sues Drug Task Force

5 days 20 hours ago
An Ohio firefighter who resigned in May following allegations he was involved in conducting drugs transactions at work, has filed suit against a county drug task force seeking the return of improperly seized personal items. Former Liberty Township Lieutenant Josh Cleland filed suit against the Mahoning County Drug Task Force.
Curt Varone

California Firefighter Files Race Discrimination Suit

6 days 22 hours ago
A veteran California firefighter who played in NFL has filed suit alleging race discrimination and retaliation. Joseph Echema, a ten-year veteran of the Redwood City Fire Department and a Nigerian immigrant, filed suit in Alameda County Superior Court.
Curt Varone

Fire Law VLOG Disciplinary Challenges with Nicol Juratovac

1 week 2 days ago
In this episode, Curt discusses fire service disciplinary challenges with Assistant Chief Nicol Juratovac. Nicol, an EFO grad with a law degree, is a 23-year veteran of the San Francisco Fire Department. Listen as they discuss fire departments who weaponize their disciplinary process, and well as the issue of double jeopardy for disciplinary matters.
Curt Varone

Judge Dismisses Race Discrimination Claims of Hartford Firefighter

1 week 3 days ago
A US District Court judge has dismissed the race discrimination claims of a Hartford firefighter, leaving intact for now additional age discrimination claims he also brought. Tony Milledge filed suit last year in US District Court accusing the City of Hartford and the Hartford Fire Department, with race and age discrimination.
Curt Varone

FDNY Prevails in Second Discrimination Suit by Gordon Springs

1 week 5 days ago
An FDNY firefighter who filed suit in 2017 alleging he was sexually harassed and discriminated against on account of his race, has had a second lawsuit against the department and several of his colleagues dismissed. Gordon Springs claims he was sexual assaulted in 2015 at the Midtown Manhattan station nicknamed The Cavemen.
Curt Varone

FBI Investigating Noose Found in Locker of Minnesota Firefighter

1 week 6 days ago
The FBI is investigating the presence of a noose in the locker of an African American firefighter in Bloomington, Minnesota. According to the city, a “piece of rope resembling a noose” was found in the firefighter’s locker on June 15, but not reported to fire department leadership until June 23.
Curt Varone

New Mexico Firefighters Sue Over Fireworks Explosion

2 weeks 2 days ago
The estate of a deceased firefighter along with seven firefighters injured in a fireworks explosion last year have filed suit against the City of Rosewell and the fireworks dealer. The June 5, 2019 explosion claimed the life of FF Jeff Stroble and injured 12 others.
Curt Varone

Court Rules Baltimore County EMS Not Liable for Patient’s Death

2 weeks 3 days ago
The Maryland Court of Special Appeals has upheld a lower court ruling that neither Baltimore County nor an EMS crew could be held liable for the death of a patient in 2015. Baltimore County Fire Department Paramedic Nicole Nappi and EMT Traci Jackson were sued by the family of Ceontay Coit, who died on December 11, 2015.
Curt Varone

Lawsuit Filed Against Two Fire Departments Over Alcohol Related Death

2 weeks 4 days ago
Two Nebraska Fire Departments are facing a wrongful death lawsuit brought by the family of a woman who died while in police custody with a blood alcohol level of 0.34 percent. The family of Danielle Renee Harbison filed suit yesterday naming the Bellevue Fire Department, the Papillion Fire and Rescue, as well as …
Curt Varone

California Fire Chief Terminated Over Comments

2 weeks 6 days ago
The past few weeks have seen unprecedented numbers of firefighters in the headlines over comments posted in social media related to race relations. Sometimes we get so accustomed to speech-related discipline being associated with social media posts, that we forget that non-social-media-related speech can be just as problematic. And so it was with Manhattan Beach Fire Chief Daryn Drum.
Curt Varone

LAFD Sued by Former Firefighter Over Hazing and Harassment

3 weeks 2 days ago
A former probationary firefighter with the LAFD who claims he was hazed and harassed by fellow firefighters to the point of seeking help from a psychologist, has filed suit claiming disability discrimination and retaliation. Daniel Eble filed suit yesterday in LA County Superior Court under the California Fair Employment and Housing Act.
Curt Varone

Indiana Firefighter Facing Arson Charges in Overnight Arson Spree

3 weeks 3 days ago
A volunteer firefighter from Indiana is facing arson-related charges in a series of fires that occurred overnight. Jake Dougherty, 18, a volunteer with the Whiteland Fire Department, is accused of setting three homes that were under construction on fire in the early morning hours today.
Curt Varone

Detroit Sued For Negligence in Fighting Fire Where Firefighters Posed for Photo

3 weeks 4 days ago
A Detroit property owner whose building caught fire on New Years Eve has filed suit against the city’s fire department over a photo depicting a group of firefighters posing in front of the blazing home. The photo of Deonte Higginbotham’s burning house went viral and prompted questions about why firefighters were posing rather than extinguishing the fire.
Curt Varone

Tennessee Supreme Court Upholds Firefighter Termination

3 weeks 6 days ago
The Tennessee Supreme Court has ruled that an at-will firefighter does not have an expectation of continued employment merely because a fire department’s employee handbook grants a right to appeal a disciplinary action. In so ruling the court concluded that the City of Cleveland did not violate the due process rights of firefighter Joshua Keller when it terminated him in 2012.
Curt Varone
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Fire Service and Public Safety Legal Issues Blog by Curt Varone
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