Fla. Firefighter Files Discrimination Lawsuit


A Melbourne fire lieutenant filed a federal lawsuit against the city on Tuesday and he said he has been passed up for promotions because of his military duties in the Air Force.

"I geared my entire adult life to this profession," said Dominick Landolfi.

Landolfi said he isn't just a firefighter for the city of Melbourne. He is a reservist in the Air Force. Landolfi said he oversees firefighters at five bases with nuclear weapons and he has been called up repeatedly for service by the Air Force, once for a full year. Landolfi said that is why he has been passed up repeatedly for promotions by the city.

"The city actually launched a congressional into the amount of my military service and that really confirmed my speculation," said Landolfi.

Landolfi said on Tuesday that he filed a federal suit against the city, claiming the fire chief and city administrators discriminated against him when filling battalion chief positions, because of the time he spent away from the city.

"There's no doubt in my mind if it were not for my military service, I would already be a battalion chief or even higher," said Landolfi.

Federal law prevents any employer from discriminating against reservists, and Florida state law said local governments must give preference to veterans. The Melbourne city attorney said the city was served with the suit and their insurers were looking it over, but that employment is based on overall assessments.

"They are certainly entitled to do that, to hire the best person, they just can't discriminate because of military service," said Landolfi.

Landolfi's lawsuit filed against the city of Melbourne is the second one by an employee in 2011. Former Melbourne police Officer Frank Carter also sued the city claiming his civil rights were violated. Officials said he was accused of writing bogus tickets and arrested after criticizing the police chief.

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