IAFF Loses in Key Decision

Eric Lamar
3 min readApr 8, 2024


Whistleblower charge moves forward

The IAFF’s “Financial Corporation” has always been a bad joke on members, beginning with then President Harold Schaitberger’s decision to turn it into an “endorsement machine” for Nationwide Insurance. The IAFF received a hefty annual fee and members little of value.


Along comes Ed Kelly, then secretary treasurer of the IAFF. He rode the wave of union gluttony until he decided to shop some of Schaitberger’s more outrageous scams to the feds. The reason, of course, was to push the aging oligarch out of the way so Kelly could ascend to the top spot.


It worked.

Over at the “house of cards”, aka the IAFF Financial Corporation, Kelly brought on IAFF member Kurt Becker as the top dog.

Imagine, if you will, dragooning your average investment professional, putting them in turnouts and SCBA, seating them in the front of a rig as it arrives at a working fire, and expecting them to have a go.

If that sounds ridiculous, that’s exactly what Kelly did with Becker, only the other way round when he put a firefighter in charge of a financial investment endeavor.


The results have been predictably disastrous.

Becker is gone, the IAFF faces a Securities and Exchange Commission complaint and a federal whistleblower lawsuit.

Law360 reports:

Kelly fired Hughes, we can assume at Becker’s urging, and then Becker was gone after news of more mayhem surfaced.

Kelly is playing full-time cleanup man mopping up his own messes.

While it was Ed Kelly who pledged to clean up the IAFF, this isn’t quite what we had in mind.

Kelly has failed at everything except out-Schaitbergering Schaitberger.