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Port Chester Punished Firefighters For Reporting Slip-Ups, State Finds

The state Labor Department has found that Port Chester retaliated against professional firefighters who filed a formal complaint about the handling of this fire at 40 Cottage St. last March. The village says it is weighing an appeal.
The state Labor Department has found that Port Chester retaliated against professional firefighters who filed a formal complaint about the handling of this fire at 40 Cottage St. last March. The village says it is weighing an appeal. Photo Credit: Jon Craig

PORT CHESTER, N.Y. -- State officials have determined that the Village of Port Chester cut the jobs of several professional firefighters to punish them for complaining about their volunteer colleagues, according to a report by lohud.com.

The village has argued that its decision last May to eliminate eight paid positions in the fire department was necessary to balance the 2016-2017 budget – it would save $800,000. But the firefighters claimed retaliation for reporting alleged blunders by volunteers during a fire at 40 Cottage St. in March that led to injuries to the Labor Department’s Public Employee and Safety Health Bureau, lohud.com reported.

The state’s Dec. 30 decision, written by deputy counsel Michael Paglialonga, found discrimination and the firefighters’ lawyer, Richard Corenthal, told lohud.com that, based on that decision, his clients should be reinstated.

The village, saying that the state’s decision lacks “any real substantive reasoning” and ignores “hard facts,” is weighing a possible appeal, the lohud.com report said.

To read the lohud.com story, click here.

To read a previous lohud.com story about the Cottage Street fire, click here.

To read related Daily Voice stories, click here and here .

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