Fla. FFs' Union President Steps Down


The president of an Orange County firefighters' union has resigned in the middle of an investigation Friday. Credit card statements revealed three union leaders spent some of the organization's money at strip clubs and restaurants.

George Romano admitted he misused the union's money. He claimed he grabbed the wrong credit card. Even so, some of the union members called for his resignation.

George Romano has stepped down as union president. This comes after WFTV obtained credit card statements which showed Romano and two other union leaders, legislative liaison Bob Sanders, and vice president Darrel McCrystal, spent dues on strip clubs, pricey dinners and liquor stores.

WFTV spoke to the Romano last week and he admitted he made a mistake.

The county was notified of his resignation early Friday morning after the vice president called to cancel a grievance hearing. The county told WFTV he is still employed as a firefighter.

The audit showed from 2002-2008 that the average credit card bill was $55,000. In 2009, $94,000 and so far in 2010, union leaders have spent $60,000.

The statements showed the cards were used to pay for cell phone bills, items at Best Buy and even clothing from the Bass Pro Shop.

Roman defended those purchases and said the union spent a majority of the money attending conventions. The union is funded by dues and not public money.

Romano said he paid back the money. He is not being investigated criminally.

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