This week saw two cases we have discussed recently – resolved. The cases are from two different states – both cases involve fire captains… both involve other jobs the captains had… and in both cases that captains won.
The first case involved Evansville, Indiana fire captain and Sixth Ward city councilman Al Lindsey. Captain Lindsey was facing termination for abusing excused leave because he stopped by a bar after a city council meeting rather than proceeding directly to the fire station.
On Wednesday, the Fire Merit Commission ruled that while Captain Lindsey may have run afoul of the rules, they were somewhat ambiguous to begin with, and termination is simply too harsh. They reduced the penalty to 30 days without pay, probation for a year, and random alcohol testing.
The second case involved a strange suit by Grand Island, Nebraska fire captain Scott Kuehl, who is also the President of IAFF Local 647. He sought to force the city to hire a new fire chief to replace the chief that retired last year.
Captain Kuehl filed suit in February claiming that state law mandated that the city have a fire chief. This week Hall County District Judge James Livingston agreed, ordering the city to appoint a chief by June 11, 2012. The city is contemplating an appeal.
More on the Evansville case.
More on the Grand Island case.