City Desk

Fire Chief Rubin Taunted At Hearing

On March 4, testimony got heated at the Fire Department's oversight hearing. After Dennis L. Rubin testified before Councilmember Phil Mendelson's Judiciary Committee, Firefighter Chris Sullivan took his turn at the witness table.

Mendo asked Rubin to remain in the room so he could hear Sullivan's testimony. Rubin complied. He then proceeded to take a verbal beat down.

Sullivan ran down his personnel file for the better part of six minutes. His testimony mirrors that of a lot of other firefighters. There are scores of firefighters who are seething over Rubin's handling of personnel issues. This is one of those cases. Sullivan claims that he was wrongly charged with going AWOL in April of 2008. He went on to say that he was found not guilty.

This led to other charges. A stint on administrative leave with pay and details out of his firehouse. And more in-fighting all over very minor charges it seems. But then as Sullivan concluded his testimony, he turned to Rubin and other fire department officials and went off.

Sullivan held up a picture of his young son. He then turned and showed it to the fire department officials.

"Would you be man enough to tell my little boy what you did to me?" Sullivan asked. "You're laughing. It's not funny. Your day's coming. Your day's coming. You'll have your chance in federal court, don't worry. What's the smirk for?"

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Rubin was not man enough to answer Sullivan's question or respond to his allegations.  Mendo then broke the tension in classic wonk style: "Mr. Sullivan does that conclude your testimony?"

"Yeah for now," Sullivan muttered.

"Is there something funny you want to share?" Sullivan asked the fire officials.

Sullivan then got up to leave. But not before getting in one last taunt at his bosses: “You wouldn’t be smirking out front would ya?”

“Mr. Sullivan I will call security,” Mendo warned, smacking his gavel.

No word if there was some kind of throwdown outside the Wilson Building.

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  • Fred

    Is there any background to this story? Just reading this blog entry makes no sense.

    It's worrisome that there appears to be so much turmoil at a major city's fire department.

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