Quacks Like A Duck?
The recent New York Times article on Harold Schaitberger included a laundry list of improper activities of substantial breadth:
– Lavish over-spending
– Â Usurping all power
– Â Operating with little over-sight or checks
– Â Pretension to a royal lifestyle
– Â Flagrant self-importance
– Â Advancing his own causes
– Â Isolating or undermining those who disagree with him
– Â Improper use of per diems
– Â Ignoring IAFF policy
– Â Doing business with friends
– Â Failing to report transactions
You have to admit, it sounds like Stalin, Mussolini or Hitler or whichever fascist dictator’s name you’d like to insert.
And, after firing New York City Local 854’s Pete Gorman, he is completely surrounded by, as Dave Foreman puts it, “bobble-heads”, a gaggle of yes- men and women to do his unfettered bidding.
The Price is Right
In Harold Schaitberger’s world he never worries about the price, much less getting it right.
He uses IAFF credit cards for personal expenditures, even parking tickets and a Scrabble game.
(Schaitberger has access to multiple cards so he can spread his lavish lifestyle over a number of accounts where they will be subject to less scrutiny.)
Many of his actions are unethical, at least, but nearly the worst has to be the flagrant abuse of the credit card where he dines out with close friends on the IAFF dime.
He doesn’t even try to hide it and feels free to do it on a weekend, often in places outside DC where his compadres live.
For example, on May 10, 2008, a Saturday, he expensed a dinner in Baltimore, Md., with Jim Franzoni, his close friend who also does business with the IAFF, as the Times pointed out.
At 9 PM in the evening.
On a Saturday.
Are we really supposed to believe that’s an appropriate expenditure of funds?
Indeed, if your local union president or fire chief was doing the same thing either charges would be brought or the media would be conducting an investigation.
Unbelievably, at our union it’s not only business as usual, it’s just the tip of the ice berg.
Airing Dirty Laundry?
A constant criticism of this blog and the New York Times article is that our dirty laundry is being aired and the IAFF is being harmed as a result.
That’s pure bullshit.
The IAFF is being seriously damaged by the massive and rampant ethical mis-conduct of Harold Schaitberger and the entire executive board.
It has been documented by the Times and proven by Schaitberger’s firing of Pete Gorman.
Don’t forget, at the last convention delegates crushed any attempt to even discuss ethical concerns.
Reform will come, if not from within, then from without.
At that point the bobble-heads, not just on the board but also at the local, state and provincial level, in fact, all who stood silent, can whine and gnash their teeth, but they will have only themselves to blame.
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