IAFF: Elvis Has Not Left The Building
The Schaitberger Factor
Harold Schaitberger may have announced his retirement as the FBI investigation proceeds, but as expected, he is exerting influence to ensure that the next IAFF officers and board look after his needs.
He will expect the board to protect his lordly severance payment and various pensions from garnishment or penalty and take such legal actions he sees as necessary to protect him.
He will also employ the “if they do it to me, they will do it to you” argument, forgetting that his woes are self-induced.
Achieving all that means having the right people in the right places.
Jokingly at least, Schaitberger has “a brother by another mother”, a phrase they reportedly use to describe one another. His name is Mahlon Mitchell and he is president of both the Madison affiliate, local 311, and the Wisconsin Professional Fire Fighters.
Mitchell will soon announce his candidacy for IAFF president and it would be nearly impossible not to see the hand of Schaitberger behind his run.
Pandemic notwithstanding, they apparently had dinner in D.C. just last week.
A source says Mitchell has never won a contested election making his run against Ed Kelly a formidable effort.
Mitchell and Schaitberger share a very cavalier approach to how they spend union funds; both have fallen under Department of Labor scrutiny before. Anyone who flouts DOL financial rules is Schaitberger’s “brother”, for sure.
Mitchell may be best known for his absurd and inappropriate public utterances.
Schaitberger’s California crony Brian Rice has a video out asking members to go all in on Frank Lima’s run for secretary treasurer while urging no action on the presidential race, saying that, in addition to Ed Kelly, there will be other candidates, suggesting that Mahlon Mitchell could be the second of three or more to make the run.
Schaitberger loves ticket-splitting but only when he’s not on it.
This is also Schaitberger working to slow down the process giving him more time and opportunity to meddle.
There’s rich irony (and hypocrisy) here as well because Schaitberger would do anything to avoid an opponent himself but now seeks a candidate rich environment; suddenly the dictator is all for democracy.
Frank Lima’s pension claims decision on behalf of Schaitberger proves Lima is the secretary treasurer that Schaitberger needs after he leaves office, someone who has his back.
The self-described Schaitberger-Mitchell relationship is also powerful evidence that Mitchell would be a Schaitberger man.
Schaitberger has disgraced the IAFF and luckily the federal authorities are now plumbing the depths of his corrupt behavior.
We can only hope justice will follow.
Any candidate running for office and any member with a vote to cast should focus on creating an IAFF completely free from the influence of Harold Schaitberger in any form, fashion, or degree.
Finally, the willingness of any candidate or leader to follow Harold Schaitberger, a man who has plunged the IAFF into an ethical crisis, is all the proof you need to go in the exact opposite direction.