IAFF Spying and Corruption: Backdraft Writes In

“As a 38 year IAFF member, I  have to confess that I must not have been paying attention.  As close as I am to retirement, it would be so easy to ignore this stuff. However, if we can’t operate our Union without hiring private detectives to spy on other Members, then we’ve already lost.  Where can I go to learn more about this behavior?”

Dear Backdraft:

First, you ask where you “can go to learn more about this behavior?”

Nowhere, you are already here.

Just go to the search box in the upper right corner of this page and type in “IAFF.”

Read some of the 150+ posts from me and others detailing the long and sordid history of Schaitberger’s corruption, ethical lapses, abuse of position and power, destruction of member’s rights, etc.

You aren’t the only one not paying attention.

Until recently, most have been completely oblivious, just the way Schaitberger wants it.

As to how it happened, a very experienced IAFF district vice-president recently pointed out that in 2000 we elected “someone who had been an IAFF staffer longer than he was a fire fighter to the position of President.”

(Schaitberger was briefly a Fairfax County firefighter, perhaps not even long enough to vest in the pension system there.)

Harold Schaitberger

That speaks to Schaitberger’s ability to consolidate power and eliminate opposition.

He took those skills right into the president’s suite at the IAFF and used them to gain total control over the IAFF board by buying them off with fancy meals and hotel rooms, unethical per diems, a fat pay raise and retirement package and a four-year term.

Along the way he also charmed local union officers, mostly new in office, with a trip to Washington and a fancy dinner at the Prime Rib or Capital Grille; more than one now say they regret that meal.

With a “bought” board and local and state leaders lacking courage or conviction or both, he is free to do whatever he pleases, including spending $400,000 to spy on us.

I and other IAFF members have the dubious distinction of being loyal union members who actually pay for the privilege to have our communications (emails, texts, phone records) scoured by private dicks hired by Schaitberger and the IAFF board.

That is an extraordinary fact, most especially for a labor union that was created to protect our rights — how far we have fallen.

Schaitberger and his cowardly board are destroying our right to free speech by subjecting us to communist-inspired police state tactics, all to protect his and their corrupt hold on power.

At some future point, perhaps not that far away, people will look back at this time, shake their heads and ask how it could ever have happened.

Share to End the Schaitberger Spying and Corruption


  • David Anders says:

    Eric, you are notorious for weaving and dogging within your blog, skillfully making it appear that you are open and above board but, at the same time, operating outside the IAFF. In reality, you take full advantage of the written word knowing that your talents at composing crafty replies will make you appear more than you are. You verbally weave and dodge and never bring forth any evidence to back up your claim. If you had any proof as to what you imply, you could bring it/them to Convention and present all your claims to the membership. You insist you are a long-time loyal member of the IAFF but never play by the rules devoted members have adopted to run the organization.

  • Eric Lamar says:


    As I have said to you on numerous occasions, Schaitberger and the board own the trial board process from top to bottom.

    I also keep asking you the same question which you never answer: If I am so “off the reservation” why don’t they file charges against me?

    Thanks for the help.


  • Islafire says:

    I don’t know you Mr Anders. But I do know what I have witnessed at Conventions both stateand IAFF. At my state convention, Trustee Ouelette was allowed to speak to the delegates. Pete Gorman was not given a similar opportunity. I requested our state district ask Pete to speak to us. I made a motion to endorse Pete. It was seconded quickly. I was then told, by our Local Prez, that I embarrassed our Local.

    At IAFF Con in Vegas, my 3rd convention, Ouelette was made front and center by Harold. Mind you, at the 2 prior conventions I attended, no Trustee was ever given such adoration. Oh wait, he was running against Pete Gorman.

    Ouelette was also given an opportunity to speak at a caucus of our District. Our DVP made it happen. I again embarrassed our Local by asking if Pete was invited.

    The resolution on MDA skimming was given a full court press by Harold’s boys. Harold even had to apologize the next day for allowing one of his boys to disparage another member from the dais. It was truly disgusting.

  • David Anders says:

    Perhaps they do not want to try to remove a fly with a sledge hammer.

  • Joe blow says:

    Did you just refer to Pete Gorman as a fly? The man is a colossus compared to our slimy president. On second thought, maybe he is like a mosquito carrying a virus called truth and decency. He bit the IAFF in the hope of spreading those values in our corrupt union.

    Of course, Harold is fighting the spread of those values using OUR money. 400k of firefighters dues for a private investigator? To uncover what ? Corruption, malfeasance? No, to try to expose a whistleblower who led the FDNY in the darkest days in the history of American firefighting.

    Why the huge New York locals chose to remain in this swamp is beyond me.

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