Tiverton, RI, Firefighters Rally for Suspended Union Leader

May 29, 2024
Capt. David McGovern has been suspended with pay since May 1 amid allegations of 'criminal conduct' in handling a situation.

Things have heated up at the Tiverton Fire Department and it has nothing to do with the summer temperatures.

Firefighters are rallying support for Capt. David McGovern, also the president of Local 1703, who is facing termination, WJAR reported. 

“Captain David McGovern is one of the most respected guys here. He has a clean jacket and has done nothing wrong in his 10 years here as a firefighter, lieutenant or captain. So, it’s kind of unbelievable how this is happening,” said Lieutenant Nicholas Barboza.

On May 1, McGovern was suspended with pay after a letter from the town cites criminal conduct in his handling of a situation, the station reported.

The allegation of inappropriate conduct occurred during a meeting between the chief and McGovern.

Edward Roy, McGovern's attorney, told reporters: “We had a previous lawsuit against the town last October because the town had put together a policy prohibiting firefighters speaking on social media and that is something that is blatantly unconstitutional and firefighter McGovern was investigated for the social media policy. So we think the current problem he’s having with the town is in retaliation of the social media postings he posted back in October of 2023.”

The union also recently issued a 'no confidence' vote against Chief William Bailey, a move they say has fallen on deaf ears at town hall. 



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