Acts to Preserve Inquiry
Five members of the IAFF executive board were recently appointed to investigate irregularities concerning president-for-life Harold Schaitberger.
Those irregularities were disclosed at a February 2020 board meeting and then were documented extensively by secretary-treasurer Ed Kelly in March.
The board chose the flawed IAFF Ethics Policy (EPC) as the vehicle to investigate; senior vice-president Danny Todd was tasked with choosing the committee members.
Fourth district vice-president Andy Pantelis chairs the committee composed of James Slevin, Walt Dix, Fred LeBlanc and Jim Johnson.
Pantelis is in largely uncharted territory, in over twenty years former vice president Joe Conway is the only other board member to stand up to Schaitberger’s bullying.
Pantelis is well regarded in his district and he foiled Schaitberger’s 2016 attempt to have his own candidate in the fourth.
Schaitberger neither owns Pantelis nor can unseat him.
Last Friday, there was an IAFF board meeting via Zoom, and multiple sources, Pantelis not among them, report that he was firm in his resolve to press ahead with the investigation.
In perfect keeping with the complete lack of ethics at the IAFF, Schaitberger, the target of the investigation, was allowed to chair the meeting.
Based on preliminary findings, the committee wants to expand the scope of the review; during the meeting, eleventh district vice-president and Schaitberger shoe shine boy Sandy McGhee apparently made a motion to quash the widening.
After a vigorous discussion, Schaitberger ruled McGhee’s motion out-of-order; a bit like the devil being forced to take communion.
When the Ethics committee discussed the matter with the executive board on Friday, they triggered the confidentiality release in the policy which states:
All allegations and review shall be kept confidential unless and until the EPC finds reasonable cause to bring the matter to the attention of the IAFF Executive Board.
The confidentiality clause in the IAFF ethics policy was originally placed there to keep Schaitberger’s misdoings under wraps till they could be dismissed; in any event, the board must now release the preliminary information they have on the case.
Andy Pantelis is to be applauded for pushing ahead with the investigation and going wherever it leads.
If Schaitberger is innocent he has nothing to fear.