Carl Monday Investigation: City Hall launches probe into moonlig - Cleveland 19 News Cleveland, OH

Carl Monday Investigation: City Hall launches probe into moonlight firefighters

Cleveland firefighter William Colberg is listed on AeroMag's online staff list. (Source: WOIO) Cleveland firefighter William Colberg is listed on AeroMag's online staff list. (Source: WOIO)
A Carl Monday investigation into the Cleveland Fire Department is already getting attention from City Hall. The Integrity Control Unit of the Safety Director's Office has now started its own probe into the abuse of the fire department's secondary employment policy.

In an investigation that began more than six months ago, Monday documented that dozens of firefighters are working second jobs at a company called AeroMag, the de-icing firm at Hopkins International Airport. Many of them don't have permission to work the second jobs, as required by city policy. Others appear to be working full-time, when only an average of 20 hours a week is allowed.

"It is something we're going to take very seriously," Assistant Safety Director Ed Eckart told Monday. "We are going to be investigating. And if true, we will take necessary corrective action."

At the center of this story is veteran firefighter William Colberg. He's the regional director for AeroMag, in charge of all the company's de-icing operations in the United States. The job pays Colberg a six-figure salary. The fire chief's office says it had no idea Colberg was even working there, let alone full time. Records show he never requested permission to work a second job.

More than payroll, this is a safety issue. No one wants a firefighter working a huge blaze, after working eight hours at another job. Eckart says, "the whole intent, obviously, is to make sure our employees are rested and prepared to do the duty that they originally signed on for."

Colberg and others could face possible discipline for violating the part-time policy, one that City Hall promised to strictly enforce after the 2012 scandal in the fire department.

As a result of Monday's investigation, the entire policy on secondary employment, will now get a second look.

"If somebody's gaming the system for their own personal benefit, then certainly, we will tighten the policy to make sure that there's no potential for people to not adhere to what their expectations are," said Eckart.

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