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Double standard in police, fire discipline



Published: Tue, July 30, 2002 @ 12:00 a.m.



Double standard in police, fire discipline

EDITOR:

I read with great interest the article on page B1 of yesterday's paper about the two policemen fired by the YPD because of an off-duty robbery ( & quot;Two cops lose jobs over code violations & quot;). There is a & quot;story behind the story & quot; which you failed to report--The stark contrast between the Youngstown Police Department and the Youngstown Fire Department regarding how they deal with the criminals in their midst.

The YPD demonstrated great courage when it fired the two cops for an off-duty robbery, even though those officers were acquitted of the criminal charges brought against them.

In January of 2001, Youngstown Firefighter James Dimuzio brutally attacked me while off-duty. The Fire Department failed to terminate Dimuzio's employment, even after his indictment for felonious assault in March of 2001 and despite his long history of violence. He remained with the department even after perpetrating two more assaults, post-indictment, for which he was brought up on bond revocation. Rather than being disciplined, Dimuzio's behavior was rewarded with an & quot;early retirement bonus & quot; of $10,000 taxpayer dollars and a pension which is, under Ohio law, protected from attachment to pay the tens of thousands of dollars in medical bills which I incurred as a result of his violence.

Thus it is quite clear that while the Youngstown Police Department is in the business of punishing the criminals in their midst, the Youngstown Fire Department is in the business of sheltering them.

The citizens of Youngstown deserve an explanation, and deserve their money back. They also deserve a fire department which holds itself to the same high standards as the YPD. If Fire Chief John O'Neill cannot provide all three, then the citizens of Youngstown deserve his resignation.

Atty. EDWARD T. SAADI

Youngstown




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