IAFF Ethics: Did You Say “Whore”?

Presumed Guilty

If I heard correctly, the word “whore” was uttered on the convention floor yesterday in relation to the Darren Bates incident.

I would agree that there was a whore involved but they were in Washington, D.C. and that’s where the real scandal was, as well.

Our Sacred Rights

Most of us who have spent a career in the fire service and the labor movement know that we are powerless without our most basic rights.

The must-have  tools we need to go to bat for members who stand accused of wrongdoing are the right to due process and the presumption of innocence.

Those twin, fundamental rights are the foundation of the fight for justice.

On the very day that Darren Bates was accused, Harold Schaitberger, with the agreement of Mark Woolbright, fired him from his District Field Service Representative (DFSR) position.

Schaitberger was judge, jury and executioner.

He said, “But suffice it to say that the nature of the accusation is unacceptable and deeply troubling.  Because of that, we must deal with this situation swiftly, and Darren’s removal from holding an IAFF appointed position must take effect immediately.”

Perhaps you’re sitting there thinking, how does he know this?

It was in the newspapers and online, provided to them by the IAFF.

Schaitberger had leaked what he had done  in a supreme act of betrayal and hubris.

It was a head shot both to Bates and everything our union stands for.

What if it was you accused and not Bates?

Would you expect your rights to be protected and defended by your union?

You would be wrong.

“I Can Do Anything I Want…”

Schaitberger wasn’t happy just firing him, he had to also strip him of his human dignity by humiliating him publicly.

A week later Schaitberger said about Bates, “I can do anything I want to him, he’s not an employee.”

But, he was a member of our union.

Harold Schaitberger robbed Darren Bates of his rights of due process and presumption of innocence and then breached his responsibility of employer confidentiality by bragging about it to the press.

He wanted to destroy Darren Bates for purely political reasons.

Now, look up on the dais at Harold Schaitberger.

That’s the kind of man you are dealing with.

Answer this question:  what kind of union leader is inspired by that kind of leadership?

In fact, if you can accept what he did to Darren Bates as a union member then you are not a union leader.

You are selling the soul of the IAFF for your own gain which is perilously close to one of the several definitions of a whore.

It’s just that simple.

If Schaitberger gets a pass on his betrayal of Bates our union stands for absolutely nothing.

The next time a fire chief denies a union brother or sister their right of due process he can cite the IAFF as precedence for his position and be perfectly correct.

Sure, it’s easy and cheap to get up on the convention floor when you won’t be held accountable and slander Bates who is not there, but the real culprit is the guy up front  with the gavel.

Not Guilty

We are nations of laws.

In a court of law Darren Bates was found NOT GUILTY.

But Harold Schaitberger, acting as general president of the IAFF did all he could to annihilate him before he ever had a chance to defend himself.

Some folks say to me, “Eric, this sure seems personal for you.”

Personal, indeed.

If we don’t care about what was done to Darren Bates by our own union we should turn off the lights and go home because we have ceased to be one.

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2 Comments

  • Spartacus says:

    E:
    So what’s a brother to do? Do you think a terse email from someone like me to Hal or Nemo would do any good? Regrettably, I don’t even know the particulars.

  • David B Foreman says:

    I do not know anything about this case therefore I will not comment on it, other than to say Harold’s actions do not surprise me. I do remember when Frank Montenaro was attacked on the floor of an IAFF meeting by an IAFF attorney (I suspect Harold was behind it) . I also remember Brook Beasley (a federal firefighter) arriving in Hawaii and being told that he would not be seated and would not be allowed to attend the IAFF convention. He actually was granted a hearing and was eventually seated. I sat in on that hearing because this action did not pass the smell test and to be certain he would receive a fair hearing. I thought at the time this was an unacceptable action and Harold was probably behind it. I also remember My Honor Guard Commander Jay Bishop being falsely accused of insulting the Canadian Flag at the Fire Fighters memorial in Colorado Springs. Jay was devastated and embarrassed by this and I was told Jay would be charged and expelled from participating in the memorial service in the future. When the truth came out about the person who actually committed the insult. Nothing was done to that person. I do not want to mention the state he was from and I do not remember his name. The incident was well documented with my Honor Guard members. They were very upset, they knew as I did that Jay would never do that. I refused to let this go and Harold finally and reluctently did apologized to Jay, I think he sent a card. There are many more of incidents like these involving Harold. Most of our members are never made aware of abuse of power. I was in Florida at an affiliate leadership training seminar and Harold walked up to some members I was talking to and said “What are you doing talking to that guy” it became a joke with several people who were also in attendance at that meeting. They were saying I don’t think I should talk to you Harold might see me. They were joking but, Harold was not, he was simply acting childish and being the low life that he often is. Since that incident, I have often wondered if he has ever actually read the preamble to the IAFF constitution or does he just think it does not apply to him. I can not help but wonder if when Harold is alone, how often does he think to himself “what would the members think if they knew who I really am?” HMMMMMMM

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