Cleveland Firefighters’ Union Sues City; Demands Permanent Chief be Appointed

CLEVELAND, OH &#8211 The City of Cleveland has been sued by the Cleveland firefighters’ union, which argues that Mayor Frank Jackson has violated Ohio laws by taking too long to appoint a new fire chief following the retirement of disgraced former Chief Daryl McGinnis in August.

The firefighters’ union is also demanding that Mayor Jackson select from the current list of eligible candidates instead of administering a new civil service promotional exam.

Cleveland’s Civil Service Commission has ruled that the current eligibility list is invalid because it contains fewer than three names. However, the union argues that the City Charter says that the city can select from a list that contains “three names or less”. The charter doesn’t say how quickly the position must be filled once vacant, but the lawsuit point out a section of Ohio law that says that the city should make a choice within 10 days of the vacancy, provided that an eligibility list is available.

The lawsuit was filed earlier this month in Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Court.

McGinnis had been appointed in January to replace outgoing Chief Paul Stubbs. He was selected from an eligibility list that included two other names – Assistant Chief Patrick Kelly and Battalion Chief Sean DeCrane. McGinnis, Kelly, and Crane were the highest scoring candidates based on a written exam, record review, and oral interview. This list does not expire until January 2015.

Assistant Chief Patrick Kelly was announced as the acting chief until a permanent replacement was selected.

Local 93 contends that Cleveland is planning to administer another civil service exam to come up with a new eligibility list. So the union is asking the court to order the city to appoint a new chief from the existing list and to pay Kelly and anyone else who would have received a promotion back pages from the date on which Cleveland was supposed to have appointed a permanent replacement.

From The Cleveland Leader