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Lawsuit claims fire department isn't following staffing procedure

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A representative for the Evansville Firefighter Union says he wants a judge to decide an ongoing battle within the department.

As 14 News reported earlier on Tuesday, a lawsuit has been filed against the City of Evansville and the Fire Merit Commission claiming the chief isn't following department procedure. 

Attorney Charlie Berger filed it on behalf of the International Fire Fighters Association. The lawsuit was filed last Friday.

It claims the department's administration is refusing to follow department procedure for when a position needs to be filled.

Berger says that last year, some district chiefs were attending a class, meaning their positions needed to be filled for that day. But Berger says the department didn't fill those positions with the right staff members.

"They did not fill it with the next available people to be promoted. They filled it with some other folks that were in the administrative office of the fire department," Berger says.

He says the lawsuit is simply to get the department to follow procedure.

Union members say they took their concerns to the merit commission, but say nothing was done.

 

"The commission decided not to even address the issue. What we're doing is we're asking a judge to read the ordinance, read the evidence because the commission failed to make a decision. They failed to do their job. So, we're asking for someone else to do their job for them and we're asking for declaratory judgement in court," said Larry Zuber, the union president.

An attorney for the Fire Merit Commission would not comment saying he had not received a copy of the lawsuit.

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