IAFF Ethics: Dinner Bell

$56,000 in One Year at Just Five Restaurants

The median salary for a North American firefighter is about $45,000 a year.  Tack on some overtime if you are lucky and then add on a second job and with some luck you might push that income up to $56,000.

That’s the amount IAFF leaders spent at just FIVE high-end steak houses  in 2013.


Bobby Van’s-  $8,966

Capital Grille-  $10,418

Morton’s-  $8,428

Prime Rib-  $22,366

Ruth Chris-  $5,819

That’s not the total amount, just the total from five.


Maybe we wouldn’t have to sell our union to the highest bidder and compromise firefighter health and safety if these jokers would go on a diet.

It is the equivalent of the entire per capita of 375 IAFF members.

How can the executive board and state and provincial leaders NOT be for ethical reform?

Our Union is out of control.



  • Dennis says:

    Interesting juxtaposition with the firefighter union leadership and the large bill from high end steak houses. Isn’t heart disease the number one killer of firefighters? With restaurant tabs like that I hope they have a cardiologist, cath lab and heart surgeon on retainer. 56K is a lot of Angus, and that is no bull.

  • Bill Hand says:

    Arrogance and hypocrisy seem to go hand and hand with some of our “Leaders” inside the beltway. Eric, I am sure that you are the cause of some mild angina for some of these folks. I have always wanted to be a fly on the wall so I could hear some of the “private conversations” of these hypocrites. Just imagine that making prime time news…..

  • Luke says:

    But they’re damn good steaks!

    And you lowly Firefighters wouldn’t understand the big issues they’re dealing with….. 😉

  • Brian Burr says:

    I’m sure that angus wasn’t all that was included in the tab. Throw in a couple bottles of good wine, etc., and the cost goes up quickly. The thing Mr. Lamar doesn’t tell us is how many people were on each of these bills, and were these the top five? I’m sure they are, and the others were much less. Is it an outrageous amount? Yes. But what are the other lobbyists spending?

  • Jeffrey Holtz says:

    As a union leader for over 14 years I have to say I have been to some of those dinners. First of all those meals are paid for with our union dues not tax dollars. That is our money. Those dollars are budgeted for and voted on by all of our members in all 5000 plus locals by over 300, 000 members across USA and Canada.
    Secondly when I am invited to a business dinner there are useually 18-20 people attending. Those types of restaurants are frequented because they can always accommodate a big crowd. The food is often very good also.

  • John Doe says:

    This story is just the tip of the iceberg! As a fire chief I have to remain anonymous for obvious reasons. My daughter used to work for the MDA, used to because the MDA laid off 60+ percent of their staff and closed 80 percent of their offices in the last 18 months. The one thing they have not eliminated is the multiple week long jaunts at luxury hotels and spas for IAFF union reps. My daughter had to attend three to four of these per year. All expenses including open bars and all meals were covered by the MDA. Thanks to a couple of firefighters from my daughter’s turf she was considered off limits and was not hit on to the point of harassment. The word was put out that her dad was one of them. The budget for my daughter’s region allocated twice as money for these jaunts than they actually spent helping MDA causes and patients. While few (if any) union reps stayed the entire week, most came and went based upon work schedules. The entire time the jaunts were non stop parties of drunk firefighters who despite marital status, were constantly hitting on facility and MDA staff.

  • Jeffrey Holtz says:

    Understood Chief….. your issue may be with MDA not us union leaders. That may be one of the reasons that we dont run to many functions for them.
    Their theory sound like it takes money to raise money.

  • Tom Roate says:

    Actually, my question “Chief”……..Why do you feel you need to “remain anonymous”? What do you stand to lose? I assume you’re not a union member and your daughter has already lost her job. I dont get your concern.
    Actually sounds like sour grapes.
    Ill bet you didn’t mind her getting those “perks” while she was employed.

  • Todd hammett says:

    Jeffrey if you as union leader are spending my union due like this sounds to me like you are just as guilty of wasting my union dues as well. I known as a local president I have to answer for every penny spend and I don’t think I give you or any of the others to spend my hard earned money so freely if you as union leader’s were paying for it out of your pocket I bet you the bill wouldn’t be that big so stop spending my Damn money like it has no end.

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