by Staff | Jun 2, 2014 6:30 pm
Posted to: Legal Writes
The Board of Fire Commissioners voted 4-1 Monday afternoon to terminate Firefighter Aaron Brantley in light of his recent conviction on attempted bribery charges.
The vote took place during a special meeting held at fire headquarters on Grand Avenue.
During the meeting firefighters union attorney Patricia Cofrancesco announced that following Brantley’s sentencing on July 11, she will file an appeal. She and Brantley declined comment after the vote.
Brantley (pictured) was arrested on Jan. 14, 2013, on two felony charges of attempted bribery. He was accused of trying to pay off two fire department officials, Deputy Fire Marshal Faustino Lopez and Fire Inspector Corey Bellamy, to help him win a discrimination complaint. Judge Brian Fischer last month found Brantley guilty of trying bribe Lopez and not guilty of trying to bribe Bellamy.
“This by no way is over. Aaron has the support of the union and its membership to go forth with the appeal. The real story will come out,” union President Jimmy Kottage stated at Monday’s special meeting.
Fire Chief Allyn Wright had sought Brantley’s termination.
City Corporation Victor Bolden was present at the meeting. He noted that the court had found Brantley guilty, on teh basis of which Wright had filed three charges against him of conduct unbecoming a firefighter.
George Longyear, the commissioner to cast the only no vote, argued that the department won’t have the money to defend against a lawsuit by Brantley in case he succeeds in having his conviction overturned. He noted that in the past firefighters have been terminated then succeeded in winning back their jobs at a cost of millions of dollars to the city.
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What a mess! Union antics gone terribly wrong! What is Longyear thinking? The facts are the facts, the man needed to be fired. Sure, the NHFD has had its share of problems, but this one involves moral impunity, attempting to bride another member to corroborate a bogus discrimination claim, and Longyear wants to keep him?
Longyear is worried about the remote possibility of his reinstatement after an appeal and following litigation, but sees no problem with a guy in uniform trying to muscle a false discrimination claim for a quick buck? What’s wrong with this picture commissioner?
So this guy has been on ice for the last what, 10 months with pay gets convicted and now we the taxpayers should be saddled with him pending a long shot appeal? Longyear has either lost his marbles or has had his moral compass tweaked ever so slightly by his neighborhood friends the union prez and counsel.
I know Faustino Lopez and his family. If he says he was bribed, HE WAS BRIBED!! Mr. Brantley should be ashamed of himself trying to take money from the taxpayers who paid his salary for years!! He is a thief and a liar! The union only supports him BECAUSE THEY HAVE TOO!! He needs to walk away with what very little dignity he has left and realize he lost!!