1. #1
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    Default Philadelphia Union Offical being disciplined for speaking out

    Monday, May 15, 2006

    Fighting fire with discipline

    By DAVE DAVIES
    daviesd@phillynews.com 215-854-2595

    FIRE DEPARTMENT OFFICIALS are doing something about criticism they've gotten over the emergency medical response.

    They're attacking the messenger.

    Dave Kearney, a veteran paramedic, union official and outspoken critic of the department's management, said he's facing disciplinary charges for allegedly violating the department's media policy.

    Kearney said the charges stem from an interview he gave the South Philly Review as a union official. He said a photographer took a picture of him in uniform, and the department apparently assumed he gave the interview while on duty.

    "These are the issues for this department now - not people dying waiting for an ambulance, but me speaking to the media," Kearney said. "They've never heard of the First Amendment?"

    Kearney said he was told the charges were for "setting myself up as representing the department without going through channels, without permission of the commissioner."

    Executive Chief Daniel Williams, a spokesman for the Fire Department, declined comment on Kearney's discipline, saying the department "does not publicize internal investigations."

    Kearney's case is reminiscent of that of Saul Ravitch, a union steward at Philadelphia International Airport who faced disciplinary action after he criticized the airport administration in interviews with the Daily News and Channel 10.

    Ravitch's comments came in stories about the death of a passenger in the airport after two wall-mounted cardiac defibrillators failed to function.

    Ravitch appealed the suspension the airport sought to impose, and the matter is pending.

    Kearney said he'll fight the Fire Department's discipline and will consider a lawsuit.
    Just another one of the 99%ers looking up.

  2. #2
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    Default

    I believe a Trooper w/ the Connecticut State Police recently won a Federal Lawsuit over a similar Gag Order Type Policy / situation. $$$$$

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