PHILADELPHIA, PA – Firefighters Union Local 22 is accusing City Fire Commissioner Lloyd Ayers and Fire Department Human Resource Manager Karen Hyers of lying under oath during a Sep. 25 court testimony in connection with the demotion of 14 firefighters.
The union has made a formal request to the District Attorney’s Office to investigate the matter. The DA’s office only said, “The District Attorney’s Office did receive a letter from the Firefighter’s Union, but aside from that we have no comment.”
Local 22 President Joe Schulle said Friday that Ayers and Hyers both lied about interviewing the 14 firefighters in question on May 30. The union says it has evidence showing otherwise such as time sheets showing one of the firefighters was working that day.
The issue began when the city decided not to fill 14 lieutenant and captain vacancies, despite having budgeted the money for it, because it was waiting for the firefighters’ promotion list to expire in May and make promotions using a new list.
The union sued and in May, Philadelphia Common Pleas Judge Leon Tucker ruled in favor of the firefighters and ordered the city to grant the promotions. That ruling was overturned in Commonwealth Court in September and the union filed another suit and gained an emergency motion temporarily preventing the Fire Department from moving forward with the demotions.
But after reviewing legal arguments from both sides, Tucker dismissed the latest suit and terminated the stay order.
The city has moved on to promoting other firefighters.
“The Administration stands by the Commissioner’s testimony,” said city spokesman Mark McDonald.