Monday, September 3, 2007

Was Firing of NYC Fire Chief Fair?

Battalion Chief John McDonald was dumped after 27 years of service. Capt. Peter Bosco is under fire in a controversy related to the deadly Deutsh Bank fire that killed two firefighters in August.

At the center of the political firestorm is NYC Fire Commissioner Nicholas Scoppetta. The issue is part of a larger controversy over treatment of NYC firefighters, including alleged lack of haz-mat safeguards in working with 9-11 debris.

THERE was fatal injury. Now here comes the insult.

Booted Battalion Chief John McDonald, in his first public comments since the Deutsche Bank fire that cost two fine men their lives, has told me a remarkable story, and union official Jack McDonnell's reading of it makes it even more incredible.

"On Wednesday, three days after the [Aug. 18] fire, before we were relieved of command, I was called in to set up emergency fire plans for two buildings which had similar hazardous conditions as the Deutsche Bank," Chief McDonald said.

Those buildings were at 130 Cedar St. and Fitterman Hall, 30 West Broadway.

Wait a minute. So the brass at the FDNY make an urgent call to Chief McDonald to devise a crisis plan, and then amazingly and inexplicably, five days later, torpedo his professional life, as well as two others?

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