Firefighters Disciplined for Urinating On Chief’s Picture
CLEVELAND, Ohio — Eight firefighters, including several high-ranking fire department officials, have been disciplined for defacing the fire chief’s picture.
The discipline ranges from demotions to suspensions, including six months off without pay for one lieutenant.
According to disciplinary records, the firefighters were disciplined following an investigation into an August 16 incident.
City records state that the city of Cleveland’s portrait of former Chief Daryl McGinnis was placed in a urinal at a Cleveland area bar during a post-graduation party for a class of fire recruits.
Several instructors admitted to urinating on the picture.
Through the city’s investigation, it was determined that Captain Roy Ziganti, second in command at the fire academy, took a cell phone picture of the portrait in the urinal, and had it forwarded to McGinnis.
“The facts of the investigation showed that ranking officers and training academy instructors abused their authority, participated in unprofessional conduct and conveyed to the graduating firefighters that such conduct was acceptable,” said Director of Public Safety Marty Flask. “The actions brought dishonor to the ranks of fire officers and most importantly, failed to provide our newest firefighters the leadership they deserve and all of us expect.”
An official with Local 93 of the International Association of Firefighters , however, said they believe the punishment was excessive. They would not say if they are planning to appeal.
The following is a list of those who were disciplined and what they received:
— Lt. William Lipke, 6 months unpaid suspension, agreed to remove his name for consideration on the up-coming Captain promotional exam. Is not permitted to participate as an instructor in the upcoming academy class. He waived his right to grieve the disciplinary action.
— Captain John Whalen, 15-day unpaid suspension, not permitted to participate as an instructor in the up-coming academy class. Waived his right to grieve the discipline.
— Captain Louis Hahn, 30-day unpaid suspension, not permitted to participate as an instructor in the up-coming academy class. Waived his right to grieve the discipline.
— Captain Roy Ziganti, demoted to firefighter, not permitted to participate as an instructor for the remainder of his career, and will be assigned to a fire suppression position at the discretion of the chief.
— Firefighters Mark Edwards, Robert DiSanto, Brian Webb, and Louis Ruggerio, all received 9 days unpaid suspension.
An additional fire officer was also found guilty of departmental charges and a hearing will be held when he returns to work from sick leave.