In 2014, Edward Scigliano, former Boston Fire department district chief, acquired $32,000 to pay off his credit card debt, a 52-inch television, a gas grill, a living room set, an elliptical machine, and gift cards. No, he wasn’t a Game Show winner. Instead, he used his state-sanctioned power as chief to defraud vendors, and taxpayers, by having them purchase items and hand over personal checks. Amounting to tens of thousands of dollars that should have gone to taxpayers going to Edward’s personal wants. In addition to this direct theft, Edward collected payment on administrative leave since 2012 for other instances of misconduct.
More recently, an article on NLPC.org reports allegations of Union Boss, and Democrat party supporter, Harold Schaitberger skimming 6 million dollars in union funds.
This goes beyond the United States as well. An Aussie fireman helped broker a lucrative, and illegal, deal with a supply company.
The list goes on.
These are individual cases, perhaps the “bad apple” argument is applicable. But, there are also cases of departmental corruption.
The New Times reports after the FBI arrested one firefighter for collecting bribes to protect a nightclub that “The strange scene repeated itself a half-dozen times that April 2012 morning, as the FBI arrested six other city employees ensnared in the nine-month anti-corruption sting. Also booked was another firefighter, Henry Bryant, who’d betrayed his badge by smuggling what he thought were kilos of cocaine for envelopes of cash. The chief target was Jose Alberto, the city’s lead code compliance officer, who threatened hefty code violations to blackmail businesses out of tens of thousands of dollars. The feds nabbed four of Alberto’s underlings too.”
The New Times also reports a few bullet points of corruption from a woman successfully suing the department over sexual harassment, to race-based discrimination, to skimming taxpayers’ money. The list goes on, and the cost to taxpayers goes up with it. Read the full report at the link above.
ABC 10 reported in 2015 that an audit found $70K in misappropriated funds in one department. As an example, fuel expenses should have been around $200 a month. Instead, it totaled more than $2,000 a month.
In another 2015 case, the LA Times reported a hiring scandal. Essentially the leaders were hand-selecting their friends and family for high-paying positions. These positions should be given to people who are randomly selected to take a test. If they pass they are hired. But nepotism replaced this system.
Every day, we see reports of police brutality, abuse of power, whole departments of corrupt cops backing each other. This, of course, makes perfect sense. Power+ No Accountability= Abuse of power. This is as simple as 2+2=4. Obviously injustice carried out by police should be a priority. Police interact with the public directly on a daily basis, multiple times a day. It makes sense. But frequently people make comparisons to other government-run programs; USPS drivers don’t kill dogs and deal with them every day, no one has ever written a song called “Fuck the Fire Department” a popular meme says. So, here I merely wish to demonstrate that corruption pervades all government institutions and the fight against corruption is perpetual. Once we are done with the police we don’t get to pat ourselves on the back for a job well done. Instead, we must move to other threats or risk losing our liberty from the most unexpected of places.
Oh, by the way, there IS a song called “Fuck The Fire Department.” listen to it here.
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