The Cover-up Continues, But With a Twist
The IAFF executive board met a few weeks ago here in Washington, DC.
The Sunday evening they arrived, a “special committee” met in closed session with Larry Gold, an outside ethics attorney retained to probe General President Harold Schaitberger’s conflict-of-interest deals.
Alas, it was a thinly veiled cover-up conducted by board members who are themselves conflicted as Schaitberger prepares to lobby convention delegates for the board to receive a massive pay increase.
The special committee was comprised of vice presidents Mike Mullane (3rd district), Danny Todd (14th district), Lorne West, (6th district), Larry Osborne (12th district) and Paul Hufnagel, (8th district).
The full board apparently discussed the secret report from the special committee in a closed executive session and the report is not available for IAFF members to view.
It is a textbook example of how not to deal with ethical issues as the proven way to proceed is to provide complete transparency in all respects.
The house purchase was a blatant “in-your-face” conflict of ethical interest and the board’s decision to cover it up is sure proof that ethics at the IAFF are in complete disarray from the top down.
There was, however, an important ray of light.
When the board was back in open session vice president Paul Hufnagel made a motion for the IAFF to engage in a process to review the ethics policy and practice. Â It was seconded by vice president Walsh.
It seems clear from comments made by various vice presidents that the super secret report suggests just that: Â a review is both necessary and warranted.
But they were afraid that to admit that fact and to engage in the review now would “look bad” so near the convention. Â So, they opted to bury it.
This, by the way, is textbook Schaitberger leadership: Â to be hyper concerned about the appearance of an issue rather than the substance of it. Â It is a prime characteristic of an overly political leader.
(As an aside, anybody who really knows Schaitberger will attest that had a staff member or vice president engaged in such a deal he would have “gone ballistic”, not over ethical concerns but rather that someone else did a deal, especially one he might have wanted a piece of.)
It is reported that vice president James Johnson (16th district) made a motion to table Hufnagel’s proposal.
It had only three dissenting votes: Â Hufnagel, Walsh and Todd.
Three vice presidents out of sixteen showed an element of courage and fortitude in trying to do the right thing.
They were crushed by the Schaitberger opposition who are engaged in the hopeless task of covering up the massive ethical lapses at the IAFF.
Where felines are concerned there are lions and there are pussies.
Hufnagel, Walsh and Todd are the lions of the moment.
I’ll let you figure out who the pussies are.
IAFF Resolution 10 is needed now more than ever.
Care About Ethics and the Survival of Our Union?
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