Sept. 28--PHILADELPHIA The same Common Pleas Court judge who initially ordered the city to promote 14 members of the Fire Department ruled Friday the city has the right to withdraw those promotions.
Judge Leon Tucker's decision is the latest move in a battle between the city and Local 22 of the International Association of Fire Fighters over the 14 promotions.
City spokesman Mark McDonald welcomed Tucker's decision.
"From the start, the Nutter administration asserted that the fire commissioner has discretion in promoting individuals from the civil service list. Just because there is a vacant position and an active list, it does not follow that it's necessarily in the best interests of the department to promote someone from that list," he said in a statement.
Local 22 president Joe Schulle said the fight was not over.
"We are immediately moving forward with an appeal to Commonwealth Court to vacate their decision," Schulle said in a statement. "We will continue to fight this latest injustice in the court of law."
The issue began when the city decided not to fill 14 lieutenant and captain vacancies, despite having budgeted the money for it, because it was waiting for the firefighters' promotion list to expire in May and make promotions using a new list.
The union sued and in May, Tucker ruled in favor of the firefighters and ordered the city to grant the promotions. That ruling was overturned in Commonwealth Court last week and on Tuesday, the union filed another suit and gained an emergency motion temporarily preventing the Fire Department from moving forward with the demotions.
But after reviewing legal arguments from both sides, Tucker dismissed the latest suit and terminated the stay order.
Copyright 2013 - The Philadelphia Inquirer