Pete Gorman’s legal case against Harold Schaitberger centers on the action the former chief of staff took to ensure that hiring at the IAFF was fair and non-discriminatory.
In his complaint, Gorman states that Jim Lee, former chief operating officer and right hand man to then General Secretary-Treasurer Tom Miller, referred to Miller as a “racist” regarding the hiring in question.
(Lee is now Schaitberger’s chief of staff, having succeeded to that position when Gorman was fired.)
According to the filing, “Gorman further reported that, according to Mr. Lee, “well qualified” candidates with “Jewish sounding names” were immediately dismissed by Mr. Miller,” and Mr.Lee “believed they were not considered for employment based on their religion.”
Gorman also states that Lee expressed the same concerns over the lack of consideration given to qualified women and an African American candidate.
Gorman notified Schaitberger in an email of his concerns and Schaitberger initiated an investigation which Gorman alleges was “hurried, superficial and inadequate.”
It’s frankly hard to imagine Pete Gorman inventing such statements because his motivation and intent would have to be rationally explained.
In addition, the statements (and words) are quite specific.
Then there is the question of the adequacy of Schaitberger’s investigation of the original matter.
Here, history is not in his favor.
Schaitberger’s primary and operative motivation in any situation is his political survival.
He does not care about procedure, process or fairness.
The Darren Bates case is the best example.
Bates was an IAFF member, affiliate officer and district field service representative when he was falsely arrested.
As the most senior leader in our union, Schaitberger was obligated to afford Bates both the presumption of innocence and the right to due process, fundamental tenets we must always carefully protect.
He did neither.
Schaitberger fired Bates instantly and at the same time leaked his action to the press, thereby also denying Bates his right to member confidentiality.
If Schaitberger tries to advance the notion that he is “Mr. No Stone Unturned” or fair and judicious, his already prominent proboscis will likely explode.
That route of explanation is permanently foreclosed to him, as it should be.
Schaitberger’s credibility factor has a minus sign in front of it.
In fact, he has been one big minus for the IAFF.
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