Ethics: Reg Wants to Know




Reg Verner, of IAFF Local 3591, pegged me yesterday as a faker because I didn’t call an ethics foul while I worked at the IAFF.

Actually, he’s not the only one to do it, there have been others, including guys from my own local.

As they have no substantive response to all of the recent ethical problems they have to reach back to my time at IAFF HQ to attack me.

They choose to go there, I do not.

I have diligently  tried to keep IAFF work stuff separate but I’m sharing one story because  it’s kind of funny and it involves the venerable Vincent J. Bollon, (VJB) former longtime General Secretary Treasurer.

Let me say at the outset that it’s easy for folks to be on the outside and talk trash about how tough you would be if you were in the hot seat.

It’s another matter to be on the inside, strolling through a mental mine field trying to do the best you can in a very difficult environment.

Anyway, I digress.

We had been given a silly directive to list our three most significant accomplishments while at the IAFF.

About a week later I went to VJB’s office to discuss a financial matter and he cornered me in his off-hand, low-key way saying that he knew about my most important accomplishment.

I played dumb (easy for me to do) but he was having none of it.

You see, I had emailed my colleagues separately, telling them that far and away my biggest win was doing my part to get rid of a certain “consultant” who was the darling of the general president’s suite.

Someone obviously let VJB in on it and he was busting on me, as only he could do.

This “consultant” billed outlandish hours, demanded to be paid in advance for work, and then would pop round to pick up the check that same day, sometimes with in an hour or two.

It could be twenty, thirty, or forty thousand dollars, in advance.

The 411 at United Unions was that this guy was famous for sucking up to union bosses to get the cash flowing and then it was up to staff to do damage control.

I found that to be an entirely correct assessment.

He was paid millions of dollars by the IAFF.

We were an ATM, in substance if not in fact.

Do you want to know how bad it was?

I held the line as best I could but the executive board showed him the door.

That’s how bad it was.

Even they couldn’t stand it.

(Joe Conway paid dearly for leading that charge.)

Forever after Harold would scream at me with that Pink Panther/Chief Inspector Dreyfus eye saying that I was the one who drove this character “out the door.”

My badge of honor, so to speak.

Vinny and I had a good laugh that day because he knew exactly what it was like.

(Unlike you clueless magpies so eager to ring me up for being an ethical wimp. You would fold in two minutes in that place.)

Let’s be honest, when your primary accomplishment is thwarting your boss, it’s time to go.

So, I did.

Inspector Dreyfus:


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  • Reg Verner says:

    Actually brother you are trying to cloud my point. WHY NOW and why keep it up after our IAFF has spoken. If only democracy was as important to you as being lauded by the very same man you now attempt to discredit. Your self praise on how you were able to hang tough under the pressure of an unethical leadership is dilusional to the rest of us, but hey, I wouldn’t expect anything else from a man that tries to parade his bitterness off as the same struggles Martin Luther King Jr. had to endure. You can be as bitter as you need to- but from my stand point your Union spoke…and yet you don’t care what the majority “say or want”. How ironic the only sellout outed by your quest was YOU! I am still your brother, and I still have to wish you well, just wish you would respect the rest of us!

  • Mike Schwartz says:

    Eric, it is impressive to me how you always take head on efforts to discredit your integrity admitting you are not perfect while the “leaders” in the IAFF cannot seem to find the strength to take head on the effort to address the issues you raise. Apparently, they are perfect. It is shocking to me that in all of this, they have never been able to accept that things could be handled better, that there is room for improvement and put some energy into making appropriate changes. Ultimately, any student of history, heck anyone who has ever dealt with kids who don’t take responsibility for their actions, knows how this is going to end.

  • James Walsh says:

    As I sit here and read the various issues surrounding our International I find it interesting the various positions my union brothers and sisters take based on competing influences. Whether it’s the issue of ethics or the vote on the conference floor, I would hope our brothers and sisters across the International would want the truth regardless of who or when the issue is brought forward. Welcome the outside eyes into the fraternity and see what bears out, what are we afraid of? If in fact Brother Lamar’s claims are true, we owe a huge thanks to Eric for his perseverance for the collective good of the International. Perhaps the founding fathers of our International had a vision for the need and purpose of the IAFF, but would be rolling over in their grave knowing the potential exists that we serve a greater interest than the rank and file specifically self desires and special interest groups. It appears we continue to talk the talk but are afraid to walk the walk. Who watches the watchman, every dues paying member should.

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