Firefighters Helped Renovate Home While on Clock: Source

Union fighting disciplinary action

Sunday, Dec 19, 2010  |  Updated 1:45 PM CDT
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Firefighters Helped Renovate Home While on Clock: Source

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FILE IMAGE: A Chicago firefighter

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The Chicago Fire Department is investigating an allegation that 10 firefighters went to a fellow firefighter’s home while on duty and used fire department equipment to help strip aluminum off the side of his house.

The incident in the summer of 2009 was billed as a “training exercise” but that’s not what it sounded like to the city Inspector General’s office after neighbors called to report it.

So the Inspector General recommended 30-day suspensions for the two lieutenants who authorized the excursion and the firefighter who was the beneficiary of the work, a city source said Saturday.

Fire Chief Robert Hoff decided three-day suspensions would be sufficient for the firefighter and one of the lieutenants, the source said.

The other lieutenant retired between the time the Inspector General recommended the 30-day sentence in October and Hoff’s decision to lower it a month later.

“There is an investigation under way and nobody has been suspended,” Fire Department spokesman Larry Langford said Saturday.

Inspector General Joe Ferguson and officials with the firefighters union who are fighting the discipline could not be reached for comment.

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