IAFF Ethics: Rascals Round-Up

The Situation So Far

With the convention just around the corner I have been asked to “roll up” the elements of our ethical crisis in one place.

Here’s a brief summary for each with the story link below it.

I.  The Betrayal of Darren Bates

General President Harold Schaitberger denied IAFF member and local officer Darren Bates both fundamental due process and the presumption of innocence.  Darren Bates was found not guilty in a court of law.

It’s past time for Darren Bates to receive a measure of justice from his own union.


II.  The House Conflict

Schaitberger engaged in various undisclosed deals totaling over a $1,000,000 with a person who does substantial business with the IAFF and the IAFF Financial Corp.


III.  IAFF Sells Health and Safety Advertising

Under Schaitberger and the the board we forfeited out sacred role of advocacy when we decided to take money from the very people we are tasked with keeping an eye on.


IV.  The Board Conducts a Sham Investigation of Schaitberger’s Conflicts

An outside ethics lawyer sat with a special committee of the board as they glossed over the various conflicts.


V.  The Board Tries to Cover Up Their Own Report

But they got caught out when three vice presidents took a stand for integrity.


VI.  An Insider Writes a Note

“Black Daze” asks for help.


VII.   IAFF’s Nick Del Re Sells Out to an IAFF Advertiser

The FDNY chief and longtime Haz Mat instructor took gifts from an IAFF advertiser, Lion Apparel, precisely proving the point that we no longer are serious about protecting our members.  It’s all about making deals.


VIII. The Board Continues the Cover-Up

Can there be anything worse than trying to hide the findings from an ethics investigation?

Doesn’t that defeat the very point?


IX.  $56,000 in One Year at Just Five Restaurants


X.  An Ethics Resolution is Submitted


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  • Dennis says:

    X. The Executive Board paid $56,000 for meals at 5 high end steak restaurants. During this austere financial time, spending that much of membership dues on lavish meals for the leadership of the union is a slap in the face of every rank and file firefighter who has to work several jobs just to make ends meet.


  • Black Daze says:

    An insider? Not really. Just a concerned member with concerns in common with yours.
    Perhaps it is just my inability to fathom the reach of this medium, but I fear we have merely scratched the surface of this deep, disturbing dilemma.
    In less than one week, important committees will report to Cincinnati to examine the early resolutions, discuss and debate them, and offer them to the delegates assembled on the floor of the Convention. These committees are filled with some of the best and brightest from around the 16 districts (from State leaders, local leaders and from the IAFF board and staff); they landed on these committees because their DVP nominated them and the GP approved them. Therein lies the depth of the dilemma … whom of the committee appointees will be able to say to their own DVP or to Harold and his legal co-horts, “I want to adopt an ethics policy that reflects the dignity of our union” – in the face of Harold’s opposition, intimidation or threat to your future leadership in any capacity of the IAFF structure. Further, there is the obvious opposition displayed by the inaction (tabled the simple motion to review the current policy!) of the Huppets who share the same fear of their “master.” Worse yet, the employ the same strategy on those members who reject the servant/master model of leadership!
    The “incestuous” (unhealthily intimate or interconnected, especially so as to exclude the involvement or influence of others) nature of the appointments is an incredibly steep impediment to necessary change or correction. Harold understands this – thrives on it, really. Each of the board members and insiders seem more than comfortable with its continued practice and existence – as if they will someday sit near the throne. I wish I knew of a more appropriate method, but isn’t that what Conventions are all about? Get together, discuss your union, what works, what doesn’t; brainstorm ways to make it better and debate the merits of the proposals … without the manipulative, heavy handed interference of the master. Isn’t it an unfortunate truth that you now serve your “master” instead of the “elected leader” serving the general membership? Somehow they believe that the members of this union exist to provide them with money, position and power.
    Leadership personalities at the International level can be an ardent study of psychology and a disappointing recognition of the reality we live in or under. http://illimitablemen.com/2013/11/17/understanding-the-dark-triad/
    For all the good that has been accomplished by the IAFF and by Schaitberger, these last few months may very well be the way he is remembered. Almost 100 years later and the traits of International leaders haven’t really changed much.

    Keep the faith, Eric … I will too.

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