WSJ: Schaitberger’s Head Served on Silver Platter
But Some Bitch Boys Hang Tight
The Wall Street Journal (WSJ) has informed the nation of Harold Schaitberger’s corrupt ways, thus confirming the stereotype of union officials as greedy and corrupt thugs.
WSJ is joined by New York Daily News (so far) in reminding us of the rot at the top.
Coast-to-coast, elected officials can now look at their local IAFF union leader and ask with cause, are you crooked like your boss?
If the IAFF were a corporation and Schaitberger was the CEO, he would have been gone by lunchtime, sacked by the board of directors, concerned over share value and reputation.
Schaitberger need not worry (for now), a majority of the board is only concerned about who spilled the beans on the cushy deals; they don’t care about the problem, only that others now know of it.
WSJ reported, “Harold Schaitberger, the longtime president of the International Association of Fire Fighters, is accused by the union’s treasurer of prematurely collecting well over $1 million in payments from a union pension fund while still working at the union.
Mr. Schaitberger, 74 years old, also failed to pay roughly $1 million in taxes on more than $3 million in deferred compensation over two decades as president, according to union officials and a 105-page memo the treasurer submitted to the union’s board.”
Schaitberger had nothing to say, telling the Journal that, “These are internal matters being reviewed by the IAFF Board through its internal processes…”
He is referring to an ongoing ethics investigation by a committee of five vice presidents but Schaitberger has quashed investigations in the past or led them into a dead end alley.
But things aren’t so rosy this time. IAFF fourth district vice-president Andrew Pantelis is the ethics committee chair and the word on the street is that he is utterly un-intimidated by Schaitberger and has put together a plan and a team to get to the truth.
All of which makes him a rare item, indeed.
Pantelis is widely supported in his district, respected by many, and won his seat despite Schaitberger’s efforts. Should he be careful crossing the street?
But where in the world is secretary treasurer Ed Kelly in all this? He got the ball rolling and then left the field, apparently he has the “tip of the spear” but not the rest of it.
The facts and truth are in his favor and he should be pushing for full reform and disclosure; Schaitberger and his bitch boys on the board want exactly the opposite.
Speaking of disclosure, the New York Uniformed Fire Officers Association, IAFF local 854, put out an email to all of their members calling for just that. More big locals need to speak up because that’s when the Schaitberger Mafia listens.
Facebook is littered with comments from members saying enough is enough and threatening to withdraw. Meanwhile, the exceedingly rare Schaitberger supporter weighs in with a fact free opinion.
One district vice president even took the WSJ article down when it was posted on a site; they are terrified by truth and openness.
If you have nothing to hide the truth is not an enemy.
We seem to be operating under the two-tier bitch boy system, the top tier are Woolbright, Thornberg, McGhee, Dix and Johnson who are Schaitberger Kool-Aid servers, handing out cups to all who will take them.
They should be the first to be perp-walked.
Tier two (Sanders, Rahne and Burry, at least) help make the Kool-Aid but don’t seem to be serving it up.
Frank Lima is the kid who got lost on his way home from school. Once ready to make the leap, Brian Rice of the California Professional Fire Fighters (see Schaitberger’s lurking shadow) may have Frank worried about his future.
Canada’s Fred LeBlanc is the wildcard; does he even like Kool-Aid? Time will tell.
Danny Todd, the senior member on the board, also seems to be watching the wind blow. He has fingers in all of the many Schaitberger pies and should be living in the Confessional because of it.
A majority of the IAFF board desperately fears disclosure to the membership; it would be the beginning of the unraveling. Unless more large locals push back against the bitch boys, Schaitberger will keep everything under wraps, doing all he can to foil Pantelis’s attempts to find the truth.
Note to the ethics committee: the facts are of no value when they are hidden. The ten-page interim report has yet to released. Claims of confidentiality are phony, fake and false.
Federal intervention, desperately needed and the only effective remedy, could result in government oversight for a period of time. If that’s what it takes to clean up the IAFF, the time is now.
One nationally known political leader who read the WSJ piece said, “…uncontested power corrupts all it touches.”
Schaitberger, never contested, is the ultimate master of corruption.