IAFF & MDA: IAFF Largest Recipient

Kelly said to cut “Take” moving forward

As the Feds continue their IAFF investigation, we hope they take a close look at the most infamous scandal— the long running extortion of money meant for sick and dying children, $5.6M from 2015 to 2019 alone.

The 2019 IAFF MDA “take”: $1,150,000 (source DOL LM2)

Schaitberger forced the Muscular Dystrophy Association, (MDA) to fork over millions of dollars in payments so firefighters would collect money during the annual “Fill the Boot” campaign around Labor Day.

Ripping off union members is one thing but skimming charitable contributions by extorting MDA is beyond the pale.

Filling Harold’s boot

Keep these facts in mind:

IAFF costs for MDA activities are so minimal that it should an in-kind contribution in support of a charitable mission as many other unions and corporations routinely do.

Not so under Harold Schaitberger.


As Marc Fitch has written, “In 2016, the MDA paid out a total of $26.5 million toward research or medical organizations, with the largest recipient, the University of California, receiving an $875,983 cash grant for research. That same year, the IAFF received $1.4 million, marked down as a “contribution” on their federal filings.”

The IAFF receives more funding by far from MDA than any organization MDA supports, a truly bizarre situation.

Schaitberger turned an act of kindness into just another revenue stream to support his lavish lifestyle, obscene salary and bloated pensions.

There was, of course, some trickle down in the form of IAFF-MDA events where select members were wined and dined as part of generating on-the-ground enthusiasm for the morally repugnant act of shaking down sick children.

Ron Kuley, current president of Harold Schaitberger’s local affiliate and Schaitberger’s longtime IAFF-MDA national contact, would know about the events, their cost and other putrid details.


MDA even paid for a private jet to fly Schaitberger cross-country to Las Vegas as part of a televised event, a profligate expense to temporarily appease a raging narcissist.

Schaitberger even had MDA hire a family friend to create a “sculpture” costing tens-of-thousands of dollars, no shakedown opportunity was spared.

So what did IAFF principal officers and vice presidents do with their cursed cash?

It was ultimately used to fund their scandalous pay, pensions and perks but first it was parked in various budget lines; a form of money laundering. There was so much cash it was an effort to find where to hide it.

(Think bloated hogs bathing all-expenses-paid poolside in February in Florida courtesy of money meant for research, wheelchairs, physical therapy and ventilators.)

The hogs wallow

They have no shame.

Speaking of shame, there’s plenty of that to go around for all the affiliate IAFF officers who condone, aid and abet this swindle, peddling bullshit about how the money they raise “stays local.”

Covid-19 cut the MDA cash flow to $287,000 in 2020 and none reported in 2021.

Sources report Kelly is stopping the five-percent annual “take” and cutting the IAFF payout, a rare ray of hope and decency.



Firefighter, DC City Guide and Part-Time Sailor

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