Conn. Deputy Fire Chief Files Suit Against Union

July 3, 2013
A Hartford firefighter who was dismissed from his position as deputy chief has filed suit against the Hartford Firefighters Association.

July 03--HARTFORD -- Daniel Nolan, who was dismissed from his position as deputy chief of training for the Hartford Fire Department and then reinstated after arbitration, has filed a complaint against the Hartford Firefighters Association alleging a "breach of duty of fair representation."

The union, Nolan claims, has failed to assist him in being properly reinstated to his old job, as per the arbitration agreement.

Nolan was dismissed in 2009 after an anonymous complaint was brought against him claiming an abuse of power in his training of recruits. An arbitrator reviewed the case and in March 2011 stated that Nolan should be reinstated to his former position with full back pay, seniority and authority.

But, Nolan claims, that hasn't happened since he returned to work in November 2012, after a 13-month tour of duty in Afghanistan with the National Guard.

Instead of reinstating Nolan as the sole deputy chief of training, the fire department split the duties of the position between Nolan and Frank Costello, who was given the job after Nolan was dismissed. Costello is now the deputy chief for firefighting training, and Nolan oversees training of emergency medical services staff.

Nolan said he was informed that he would not retain the same duties, such as overseeing training of firefighting recruits and their completion of the program.

"I've been stripped of my duties, of my former authorities," said Nolan.

Nolan contacted the Hartford Firefighters Association in December 2012 and was told the union would not seek to enforce that point of the arbitration award.

Nolan said he updated the union on the ongoing situation several times from January to March 2013. After the union failed to act, Nolan filed his complaint against the union on June 25.

Nolan is suing the union for $15,000 in damages, plus legal fees incurred.

Copyright 2013 - The Hartford Courant

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