IAFF: The Crisis Grows
- Members call for action, contemplate quitting
- Board pursues failed strategy
IAFF president-for-life Harold Schaitberger is under sustained and increasing pressure as rank and file members react to news of his corrupt practices.
Schaitberger was found to be taking an improper pension for some twenty years and Edward Kelly, secretary-treasurer and IAFF chief financial officer has listed at least nine other serious instances of financial concern.
Schaitberger’s strategy is to contain the damage by having district vice presidents “investigate” and declare him “clean as a whistle”, a tactic he used when he was found guilty of a federal conflict of interest charge years ago.
It won’t work this time as the board will be pulled down with him.
On the pension charge his guilt is proven by three attorneys. Some still say, “If the charges are proven.” Well, they have been and the board stopped his pension.
Now, they need to act on Schaitberger’s long established pattern of corruption.
With the posting of the 105-page document, members and leaders are demanding action:
“He’s toxic. Needs to move on so we can.”
“As a retired member this needs to be investigated by an outside source and if true all involved should be held legally accountable”
“Very concerned about the reputation of all unions,as this probe continues. There is no joy in watching this unfold. This needs to be resolved properly and move on as the IAFF is to important to allow this to drag on. Union members past and present deserve closure.”
“IAFF has been corrupt in upper echelon for years!”
“If the IAFF does not force him out and does not force him to pay restitution ……. I’m out!”
“Call for a special board meeting on social media to conduct a vote asking for schaitberger to step down.”
It is now reported that Schaitberger has been summoned to the next meeting of New York local 94 to explain his pension and to answer questions; some suggest that local 94 may be leaving the IAFF over Schaitberger and the board’s unethical conduct.
As all this unfolds, the IAFF is under IRS audit for Schaitberger’s over-contributing to a deferred contribution plan, another example of placing the union in financial and legal jeopardy.
All eyes are on the district vice-presidents to determine if they participate in another Schaitberger cover-up or finally come clean with the membership.