IAFF in Court: Motion Denied

Case Now Set to Proceed

Pete Gorman

Parties in Pete Gorman’s wrongful firing/retaliation suit against Harold Schaitberger met this past Friday in Judge Wingo’s chambers here in DC Superior Court.

The path so far has been a circuitous route of filings and motions by both sides alleging various facts.

Schaitberger’s motion to dismiss a claim of retaliation filed by Gorman was denied meaning it remains in place, at least for now.

Harold Schaitberger

Gorman’s attorney, Mona Lyons, dropped a bit of a bombshell when she informed the judge that two IAFF attorneys working on the case, presumably Tom Woodley and Megan Mechak, may be fact witnesses in the trial.

That means that Mechak, lead attorney on the case and Woodley, the principle at the firm, could both wind up on the stand as they were involved in the “investigation” of the original issue and Gorman’s subsequent firing.

This Is What We Get

Woodley & McGillivary et al., are Schaitberger’s all-purpose legal lapdogs ever ready to do his bidding even when it makes no sense and this doesn’t.

They participated in actions giving rise to the complaint and will effectively be defending themselves and the IAFF at the same time.

Here we recall the maxim that the person who represents himself has a fool for a client.

With Woodley & McGillivary involved in the underlying case and Schaitberger being pursued individually, it raises the question of who is really looking out for our union?

Answer: nobody.

Schaitberger and Woodley & McGillivary are no strangers to conflicts of interest.

Schaitberger failed to report his house purchase from IAFF contractor and longtime crony Jim Franzoni, a conflict for which he was cited by the Department of Labor.

Schaitberger had Woodley & McGillivary hire Jim Franzoni’s son in an act that has all the signs of logrolling and which has caused them conflict issues in the past.

It’s no surprise that we find ourselves here for two major reasons.

First, in the minds that matter Schaitberger is the IAFF even though nothing could be farther from the truth and making strategic decisions based on that premise is reckless and stupid.

The IAFF board is under the total control of Schaitberger and unable to exercise any claim to independent thought or action involving how or by whom the IAFF and Schaitberger are represented.

The board is nothing more than grunting oinkers at the trough.

Discovery

It was made clear in court that discovery proceedings are set to begin and it can be assumed that both parties will be looking for information to bolster their respective cases.

If discovery is to some extent governed by the allegations made by one party against the other, Schaitberger could be in a very sticky wicket as he has charged Gorman with breach of fiduciary duty.

Schaitberger says, “he [Gorman] owed the IAFF and IAFF General President Harold Schaitberger fiduciary duties including but not limited to the duty of undivided and unselfish loyalty and the duty to act solely for the benefit of the IAFF and Harold Schaitberger in all matters within the scope of his employment.”

Does Shady Schait really want to go down that road?

By extension doesn’t Schaitberger (and the board) owe the exact same set of responsibilities to the members?

Of course, they do.

These are the same thieves who stole hundreds-of-thousands of dollars in per diems blatantly and improperly taken in a massive years-long example of a fiduciary breach you could drive an M-1 through.

Schaitberger was right there, too.  He would drive twenty minutes from his house to a hotel and collect a per diem even though he spent nothing out-of-pocket.

He routinely takes $80 a day for meals while also charging thousands of dollars in meals and alcohol on his IAFF credit cards.

Don’t forget, Mr. “fiduciary straight and narrow” expensed a $12 Scrabble game on one of his three IAFF credit cards.

He also has his share of very questionable (and difficult to explain) dinner tabs where it will be next to impossible to assert that they have any connection to IAFF business.

$4,771.80

Harold Schaitberger is a rolling fiduciary train wreck.

Oh, by the way, this time, and for the first time, there will be an actual judge and jury, not the bought-off board and fat-cat affiliate leaders always ready to suck-up in anticipation of their next steak dinner and bottle of wine.

Can’t you just see the jurors when they hear that the guy who makes well over $300,000 a year with all expenses paid and who is too cheap to buy a Scrabble game or too special to take a taxi or fly economy on a short trip is accusing someone else of breaching fiduciary duty?

Of course, the icing on the cake is that Schaitberger made the breach claim only after Gorman reported questionable hiring practices where minorities were concerned.

That’ll be a big winner in DC Superior Court.

Stay tuned.

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