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Monday, November 28, 2011

Firefighter, city of St. Paul settle discrimination suit for $528K

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

The city will have to sell bonds to pay for the landlords lawsuits

11:27 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Chuck ? How is the city paying these lawsuits ? With money from the general fund or liability insurance ?

As usual, the city settled admitting no guilt and the ones that discriminated against the fire fighter are still in office.

And us citizens wonder why taxes go up ???????

Pathetic !!!

Jeff Matiatos

7:41 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

There is no liability insurance, the City pays for it out of the general fund.

Anytime there is a settlement there is no admission of guilt... but the way I have always viewed it is that the City Attorney gives the council a run down of the case and what it would take to win and what could make them lose and the council decides if it is smarter to settle or push ahead to court.

(If there is a better than 50/50 chance you could lose a million in court, it may be smarter to settle for a half of a million.)

Personally, anytime I see this big of a settlement I would bet it was a pretty good case this person had.

As to the landlords' lawsuits, the City has already won that case. The only thing left to be determined is can there be disparate impact in a FHA case when the policy is design to support poor and minority members and if so does the City service displaced members well enough?

No big cash prizes in that one.


Chuck Repke

8:53 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The landlords attorney fee's must be close to a million bucks.

9:39 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

But if we are to look at all the monies being payed out from lawsuits against St.Paul, either that were settled without admission of guilt and or trial verdict, the tax payers should be picketing down at the mayors office demanding certain city employee defendants are removed from office or fired.

We cannot afford to keep paying for the crooked acts of Government employees without answering to the people.

It's pathetic Chuck, that our city council and city attorneys shove it under the rug and pay off these claims without accountability.

I have noticed in many of lawsuits filed against city government that it's former city employees who sue the city that get paid the highest settlement awards.

Why is that !!!! ?

Jeff Matiatos

12:37 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Reading the article, it says this fire fighter is going to be making over 3K every two weeks ??? !!!

What is his retirement check going to look like ? Attorneys get 300K out of the settlement.

Jeff Matiatos

4:10 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


He appears to be a Deputy Fire Chief (or is being paid at that grade) so he is getting $78,000 a year.

Firefighters in cities make around $50,000 a year, so a Deputy Chief will make somewhere between $70 K and $80 K.

I know that people expect people to walk into a burning building or keep your heart beating when they cut you out of your crashed car for minimum wage, but some of us believe that someone who risks their lives every day should make a decent living.

The reason why most of the settlements are high with former employees is because it is based on what the made or would have made but for the actions of their supervisor (who ultimately is the City).

So, $528,000 is about 7 years worth of his salary. When you look at it that way it isn't as crazy as it sounds at first. The court would have been higher if he would have won.... 10 or 15 years of salary wouldn't have been insane for the court to award him.

So, if the things he claims are true, to get the responsible parties "removed from office or fired" the City would have to first prove his case and then start a process of taking disciplinary action against his supervisors... and getting them fired isn't that easy. They may have been employed for a long time by the city and have had no other actions ever against them. If you fired them, you may find yourself in court again paying off the supervisor because you fired him without giving him the oppertunity to correct his behaviors... and I am sure his story is that none of that ever happened.

It always seems so easy from the outside.


Chuck Repke

10:38 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Just saying that over over 6K per month is a pretty darn good salary and I just hope that other city employee salaries are just as justified as compared to the services that police and fire provide.

But, this Fire Chief was awarded
over 500K for seven years of being non employed ? I would argue that having to give 300K of it to the lawyer is not fair to the fire chief. The city could have settled this thing sooner and he would not have rung up such a huge lawyer tab for the citizens of St.Paul to pay.

So, why is not our city attorney settling these matters sooner ?

Seems the tax payers are being over charged and this fire chief shortchanged because our city attorney is dragging his feet trying to see what the city can get away with.

Same thing with the landlord lawsuits.

Then, I'am sure it's not the first time the city has been sued and settled on discrimination issues, and like always, they claim they are going to put in place stricter measures to combat this . I say it would be easier to fire the. culprit .

This fire chief did not have to settle and had he taken it all the way, he could have won and gotten over 500K plus attorneys fees.

You either have a case or you don't.

But the Fire Department sure gave him a nice desk job.

Jeff Matiatos

9:20 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Think I will get the name of the individual defendant(s) in this lawsuit and put his or her name here.
I bet who ever he, she, or they are, hopefully they get the proper training to not do this again.
Shame we are still employing these idiots.

9:40 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

How about that recent story about the Minneapolis FD ?? This fire chief there causes MNLPS all sorts of problems and costs hundreds of thousand gets big promotion HMMMMMMMM

11:30 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I don't know any more than what I read in the story, but it appears that who ever was in charge of this person at the fire department felt that there was no job in the department that they could put him into with his site problems.

He had developed a medical condition where he couldn't see in the center of his field of vision. His supervisors, to be safe don't want him fighting fires or trying to operate rescue equipment.

They give him a desk job, but he has a hard time with that because where this condition particularly acts up is when you have to do detailed work... staring at the computer.

They determine that there isn't any job in the fire department that you can do if you have trouble seeing and decide to let him go. He sues. They keep him on.

This goes on for some time before the action happens and the case goes to court.

It may sound terrible that they discriminated against this person, but at least to some degree the department felt there wasn't any jobs that he could successfully do with his site issues. I think they were hoping that he would end up on disability...

I mean they are ending up creating a new job for him... unfortunate they weren't that creative on the front end... but you could see where they felt trapped. They are cutting jobs in the department and need to create a possition for someone with vission issues...


Chuck Repke

10:14 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

But you don't do that by giving the guy write ups and termination slips and ignoring his disability because all of the sudden, the economy takes a crap and your LGA money isn't coming.

It goes beyond what was reasonable and the city knows better than to discriminate and it's not like they never had a discrimination policy.

Besides, St.Paul has it's own discrimination policy city wide and
it's shameful it wasn't followed. No excuses.

Jeff Matiatos

11:09 AM  

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