Securities and Exchange Commission subpoenas IAFF
The IAFF is back in the news with last week’s resignation of the Financial Corporation’s (FC) Chief Operating Officer (COO) Kurt Becker.
Becker was the handpicked acolyte of IAFF president Ed Kelly and secretary-treasurer Frank Lima; both touted his abilities:
“We are pleased to have Kurt Becker as the new COO of our Financial Corporation,” says General President Ed Kelly. “He has the managerial experience and strong work ethic needed to get this job done and our members can trust that he will always work for them.”
“This is an important role and Kurt is bringing fresh eyes and energy to the IAFF-FC. We appreciate him stepping up for this assignment,” says General Secretary-Treasurer Frank Líma.”
Jack Hughes, a former director of the FC who was hired by Becker to improve the quality of financial services, was terminated by Kelly and Becker for expressing his concerns over improprieties he witnessed during his time there.
Hughes subsequently filed a federal lawsuit against the IAFF and others for their respective roles in his ill treatment and termination.
While Kelly may have sung the praises of Becker’s “strong work ethic” Hughes said Becker was actually hired as a reward for generating votes for Kelly in his election. His source was none other than vice president Jay Colbert.
Enter Braden Frame, a relatively unknown IAFF member from a small Texas local, who has announced his candidacy for IAFF president against, it is presumed, incumbent Ed Kelly.
Frame has planted his campaign flag on the tall hill of Kelly’s misdoings and the IAFF-FC scandal is at the top of that stinking heap. He has obtained and posted recordings of various Financial Corp parties outlining pay-to-play schemes and other blatantly shady dealings.
Sources say the recordings obtained by Frame are but a small sample of the total.
Some say Kelly gave Becker a choice of resigning or being terminated. If so, that’s the very option given to whistleblower Jack Hughes, only Hughes’ separation package came with a gag order preventing him from speaking to IAFF members. Hughes refused to agree thus triggering his firing.
After Hughes’ termination and the filing of his lawsuit, Kelly took the extraordinary step of sending a letter out denigrating Hughes, terming the lawsuit frivolous and lauding Becker for his efforts.
Why did Kelly finally move on Becker?
The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission has issued a subpoena regarding FC operations suggesting that Hughes’ claims have merit.
The revelation that there are actual recordings memorializing for posterity the voices of the participants can hardly be helpful either.
Some have said that Becker is the subject of a number of employee complaints which could have been either the last straw or a very fortuitous opportunity to move him along.
The great irony is that Ed Kelly contacted the IRS and the Justice Department regarding financial irregularities at the IAFF in his bid to unseat Harold Schaitberger.
It worked and Kelly wanted to be seen as the great reformer.
But when Jack Hughes contacted the feds after first notifying both Kelly and Becker that their actions were improper, indecent and quite probably illegal, Kelly, the great reformer, promptly fired him.
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