Judge Sides with Mo. Firefighters Over Promotion

July 12--A St. Louis County judge has sided with three union firefighters who filed suit last year against the Monarch Fire Protection District.

Associate Circuit Judge Mary Elizabeth Ott ruled Tuesday in favor of Thomas Beauchamp II, Dana Buckley and Craig Sullivan.

The three sued the district in October, contending that the district board violated the collective bargaining agreement between the district and Local 2665, International Association of Firefighters.

Specifically, they said the board wanted to fill a captain's-rank vacancy with a person who was not included on an existing list of qualified candidates.

The ruling means the board will have to select one of the three plaintiffs, all who are on the list, for the vacancy, union vice president Brad Peters said.

Peters said the union also has a suit pending that aims to stop the board from changing the promotion procedure while the current contract is in effect.

Monarch board president Robin Harris was unavailable for comment.

The Monarch district, which has been embroiled in several confrontations pitting union firefighters against the elected board members, covers about 63 square miles in Chesterfield, Ballwin, Clarkson Valley, Creve Coeur, Maryland Heights, Wildwood and unincorporated St. Louis County.

"Joe's St. Louis" appears online Monday-Friday and in print on Saturday. Holleman's "Life Sherpa" column appears in the Everyday section of the Sunday newspaper. On Mondays, he is a guest at 11:25 a.m. on KTRS-AM "The Big 550." You also can follow him on Facebook and Twitter.

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