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  1. #1
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    Default Captain demoted following alleged road rage incident

    Lemay Fire Board upholds demotion
    By JOAN LITTLE

    Ex-captain is accused of 3rd-degree assault on teen



    The Lemay Fire Board has upheld the demotion of a former fire captain to
    lieutenant.

    The board voted unanimously in closed session last week to uphold the Lemay
    fire chief's demotion of Lt. David Foote, who was involved in an altercation
    with a 17-year-old motorist in Lemay on Sept. 27.

    St. Louis County police issued Foote a summons for third-degree assault in the
    incident, which happened on Morris Avenue at Telegraph Road.

    Foote was headed west on Morris when the 17-year-old driver backed his vehicle
    into the street and blocked Foote's way, witnesses say. Foote has denied the
    charges.

    Foote was demoted after the district obtained statements from witnesses and
    from the motorist, whose mother filed a complaint with the district.

    At an administrative hearing on Oct. 30, the board heard from five
    witnesses about the incident. They also heard from two officials from Local
    2677, the Lemay firefighters' union, who represented Foote on behalf of the
    bargaining unit, according to the minutes.

    Neither Foote nor his attorney, Rick Barry, attended the hearing. Barry had
    told the district that he would not attend due to the fact that the hearing was
    held on the day of the funeral wake for St. Louis County Executive George R.
    "Buzz" Westfall, who died on Oct. 27.

    Lemay Board Chairman Jim Stonebraker said the board went ahead with the
    hearing, noting that it wasn't held until 7 p.m. on that day, while the wake
    started at 1 p.m. Stonebraker also noted that St. Louis County courts kept
    their schedules on Oct. 30, as did other county employees with scheduled
    appointments.

    Foote declined to comment about the board's action, referring to his attorney.
    Barry could not be reached for comment.

    Reporter Joan Little
    E-mail: jlittle@post-dispatch.com
    Phone: 636-500-4111
    Lemay Fire Board upholds demotion of a former fire captain to lieutenant


  2. #2
    HNFC FF/President mdoddsjffhnfc's Avatar
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    Default

    was he on duty when this incident happened? if not, how can he be demoted for an action that didn't occur while on duty? That doesn't quite make sense to me. Maybe someone can clear this up.
    Firefighter, Volunteering since Oct 2001

    CCFA 05-04, best overall class for 2005
    "GOOD GAME!"

  3. #3
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    Unhappy

    No, he was not on duty, thus my reason for the posting. I was curious to see what the response was going to be. he was neither on duty, nor convicted. The charges have been filed, but no conviction. What if he is not convicted or the charges are dropped. Does he get his rank back?

  4. #4
    MembersZone Subscriber ChiefReason's Avatar
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    Default

    Once again, I think Administration has jumped the gun and made a very poor decision to appease a few members of the public.
    As I have said before, you are innocent until proven guilty unless you're a firefighter.
    Without a decision from the courts, this one will go in the wrong direction very quickly.
    It's far from over.
    CR
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  5. #5
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    Call it playing Devils advocate but conduct unbecoming is conduct unbecoming, weather you are on duty or not. You are held at the highest standards in the public eye 24/7 not just when you are on shift.
    After I'm dead I'd rather have people ask why I have no monument than why I have one

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  6. #6
    Forum Member DaSharkie's Avatar
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    Default

    If he was in uniform on teh way to work or on the way home then I can see justification for disciplinary action.

    I have to say that if he was not on the job then you have no right to discipline me unless there is a conviction for a criminal complaint.

    I can almost guarantee you that there will be an appeal and the Captain will win with back pay and damages.

    While I can see Iron's point I know of many guys who are jerks and bastards off duty but since the city is not paying them then you cannot hold me accountable unless they are convicted of an offense.
    "Too many people spend money they haven't earned, to buy things they don't want, to impress people they don't like." Will Rogers

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  7. #7
    MembersZone Subscriber ChiefReason's Avatar
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    12TruckIrons:
    I support the idea that we must be aware of our conduct 24/7, but "conduct unbecoming" is also a charge that must be proven.
    What was the "conduct" of the 17 year old and let's not lose sight of the fact that "Mom" filed the charge.
    To demote an officer based on an "allegation" is wrong. Period.
    There is a certain burden of proof and a right to due process that must be afforded those that are accused. And this is still an "allegation" of wrong-doing.
    I stand by my original post that a decision was made before all of the facts were presented. And what is the rest of this officer's record reveal? First time? Numerous offenses? Decorated? Anger management candidate? The whole picture needs to emerge here.
    CR
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  8. #8
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    CR I agree with you 100% I was just trying to post the point of view of the city management. I would like to know exactly what occured to even havr the charge considered but I want there so I cant say.
    After I'm dead I'd rather have people ask why I have no monument than why I have one

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  9. #9
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    Default

    Not saying I agree with the demotion, especially without the charges being proven. However, to answer the question as to how they can do it if he was off duty. We have a clause in our contract that allows for disciplinary action up to and including termination for "activities unbecomming of a firefighter" on or off duty. Maybe they have something similar in theirs. Again, not necessarily agreeing with the action, but may be allowed.

  10. #10
    55 Years & Still Rolling hwoods's Avatar
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    Question Huh?.........

    What happened to "Innocent until proven guilty"? or does that only apply in 49 states instead of 50?. Stay Safe....
    Never use Force! Get a Bigger Hammer.
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