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  1. #1
    Martha! Number 47's Avatar
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    10.25.16 @ 10:41 AM
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    Default Cleveland firefighters demoted, suspended for roles in urinal prank

    Cleveland firefighters demoted, suspended for roles in urinal prank

    CLEVELAND, Ohio – City officials on Thursday took disciplinary actions against eight firefighters who took part in a prank that involved urinating on a photo of the division's former chief.

    The firefighters received punishments ranging from demotion to suspension. Safety Director Martin Flask said the conduct "brought dishonor to the ranks of fire officers."

    A Department of Public Safety investigation uncovered that the official photograph of former Chief Daryl McGinnis was stolen from the Fire Training Academy in August and placed in urinals at two Kamm's Corners bars during a celebration held in honor of newly-minted firefighters, officials said. The investigation found firefighters relieved themselves onto the photo or failed to remove McGinnis' portrait from the urinals.

    "Numerous members of the public and family members of the graduates, including children, were exposed to this despicable and reprehensible act," according to a department summary of the investigation.

    Capt. Roy Ziganti, who was demoted to the rank of firefighter for his involvement, took a cell phone photo of the portrait resting in the urinal and had an acquaintance text the photo to McGinnis and division lieutenant, officials said. Ziganti's actions sparked the investigation. Ziganti was second in command at the academy when he took the photo. He is now banned from ever instructing his fellow firefighters, according to the department.

    The other firefighters found guilty of participating were given unpaid suspensions ranging from three days to six months, officials said.

    "The facts of the investigation showed that ranking officers and training academy instructors abused their authority, participated in unprofessional conduct and conveyed to the graduating firefighters that such conduct was acceptable," Flask said in an emailed statement.

    The firefighters were charged with various offenses, including: neglect of duty; conduct unbecoming an employee in the public service; offensive conduct; and failure of good behavior.

    Capt. Louis Hahn received a 30-day unpaid suspension and is not permitted to instruct the next academy class.

    Capt. John Whalen received a 15-day unpaid suspension and is not permitted to instruct the next academy class.

    Lt. William Lipke received a 6-month unpaid suspension and is not permitted to instruct the next academy class. Lipke also must remove his name for consideration on the next promotional exam.

    Firefighters Mark Edwards, Robert DiSanto and Louis Ruggerio received a 9-day unpaid suspension.

    Firefighter Brian Webb received a 3-day unpaid suspension.

    “I would say this discipline is excessive,” said Michael Norman, secretary of the firefighters union. “You have McGinnis only getting a verbal reprimand for threatening to stab a subordinate, and then you have this.”

    An additional division officer -- who was not named in the investigation summary -- was found guilty of involvement. His discipline hearing will be held when he returns from sick leave, officials said.

    Charges against one instructor and a probationary cadet were dismissed.

    Four captains, two lieutenants and six firefighters received letters in November stating they would be subject to disciplinary hearings as a result of the incident. The status of the twelfth person accused is unclear. A call placed to City Hall for clarification was not immediately returned.

    McGinnis retired in August after being pulled from his supervisory duty for failing to meet training requirements.

    Weeks earlier, McGinnis received a verbal reprimand for threatening to stab a firefighter in the neck for violating dress code.

  2. #2
    Good Enough wombattt's Avatar
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    10.24.16 @ 04:33 PM
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    Seems like a prank from the show Rescue Me.
    "Always hopeful, yet discontent,
    He knows changes aren't permanent
    But change is!"



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