Fairfax & Niemiec, A Closer Look



On Sunday, I wrote that John Niemiec said, “Many of you have seen that another lawsuit was filed yesterday in federal court against Fairfax County naming several of our members. It is unfortunate that some choose to take the opportunity to claim personal agendas as we all continue to grieve the loss of our Sister Nicole.”

In retrospect, I think focusing solely on the Tomasello lawsuit was a mistake on my part and here’s why.

Niemiec is clearly using the plural in his roundup of perceived scoundrels: “…some choose to take the opportunity to claim personal agendas…”

He refers to anyone seeking redress in the judicial system, including, for example, Magaly Hernandez.

If you decide to defend yourself, according to Niemiec you have a “personal agenda.”

Now, that’s an odd statement for a union official to make, very odd, indeed.

Moreover, it is obviously prejudicial toward those seeking redress, but it’s even worse than that.

Niemiec’s last clause, “we all continue to grieve the loss of our Sister Nicole” presupposes both that the litigants do not also grieve, but that Mittendorff, were she alive, would not, in fact, support them in their endeavor.

He claims to channel Nicole from beyond the grave in a thinly veiled “she’s on our side” gambit.

And, his use of “our Sister” in a sentence intended to marginalize women protecting themselves is doubly despicable.

Mittendorff is used by Niemiec to set the litigants apart but also to damn them for acting on their own behalf.

It is a cynical use of the death of Nicole Mittendorff.

Two questions.

One, ask yourself just who is he playing to with such comments?

And, just how does that respect the life of Nicole Mittendorff?





  • Patricia Tomasello says:

    to set the record straight. my case was dismissed because i did not have enough evidence. i was allowed to file suit again but i chose to do it this way because these cowards want to hide behind the fire dept. John Niemic is good friends with the people i named in the suit. He is using his position for personal agenda he needs to step down. shame on him for making threats to those who chose to stand up for what is write. it is people like him that continue to make the dept look bad. and why is it that the fire department and union are allowed to do their own investigation on the dept. smoking mirrors. his email clearly shows their incompetence and lack of fairness. this man needs to step down now.

    • Eric Lamar says:

      Thanks, Patricia.

      I agree that having the case dismissed does not mean that the department was not a fault, it simply indicates you failed to meet the threshold imposed by Judge Ellis. Those are two completely different things. A high performing agency would have conducted an assessment to see what needed to be changed in light of the information provided rather than seeing the decision as an affirmation.

      As for Niemiec, he is playing to the usual crowd and in so doing prejudicing, or at the very least tainting, the atmosphere for those who seek justice.

      It’s a wholly opportunistic act without redeeming value.

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