CFD Supervisors disciplined in shift-change scandal

CFD Supervisors disciplined in shift-change scandal

On Thursday, 17 Cleveland Fire Department supervisors were disciplined for their role in the shift-trading scandal from 2011.

Fire Chief Patrick Kelley announced the disciplinary results today. Seven supervisors were suspended for one 24-hour shift, five for two 24-hour shifts, two for one 24-hour shift held in abeyance, two were reprimanded and one suspended for three 24-hour shifts.

"The lack of supervisory oversight in the Division of Fire regarding this matter enabled firefighters to engage in a practice of swapping their scheduled work shifts in violation of an established policy," said Chief Patrick Kelly. "This practice not only eroded the public trust, but also brought significant scrutiny and dishonor to the Division."

One additional supervisor is on leave and his charges are pending.

Earlier this year, 13 firefighters pled guilty to charges following illegal payments made to co-workers to cover shifts while they were paid by the city. Only one was fired.

Cleveland firefighters are allowed to trade shifts, but all shifts must be paid back within a year. A city audit in 2011 revealed that many firefighters did not reciprocate by working shifts for colleagues - they instead paid them, usually in cash. But the firefighters who were absent continued to be paid for those shifts.

They also received benefits; including health, pension and vacation pay from the city for those shifts.

The convicted firefighters all failed to work at least 2,000 hours, roughly a full year away from the job.

Since the scandal, the shift-change policy has been revised, and new methods of keeping payroll have been introduced.

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