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Commentary, sarcasm and snide remarks from a Florida resident of over thirty years. Being a glutton for punishment is a requirement for residency here. Who am I? I've been called a moonbat by Michelle Malkin, a Right Wing Nut by Daily Kos, and middle of the road by Florida blog State of Sunshine. Tell me what you think.

Sunday, September 02, 2007

The Knuckleheads of the Day award

Today's winners are Jim Reynolds, Rudolph Johnson and Brian Will. They get the award for the following.

Two of the Orlando Fire Department's top brass were suspended for a month without pay Friday for cheating on a promotional exam five years ago -- a punishment that union officials decried as too light.

Fire Chief Jim Reynolds said an investigation found evidence that Deputy Chief Rudolph Johnson and District Chief Brian Will used a departmental radio to secretly listen while colleagues took a test they would be taking the next day.

Both men will begin serving 30-day, unpaid suspensions next week.

Johnson, one of three deputy chiefs who report directly to Reynolds, makes $108,409 a year and will lose $9,034 in pay. Will, in charge of the department's internal-affairs investigations, makes $83,220 annually and will lose $6,935.

"Cheating will not be tolerated, and this does send that message," said Reynolds, describing the punishment as "substantial."

But not everyone agreed. Union officials said they will file a labor grievance next week on behalf of the firefighters who missed out on promotions that went to Johnson and Will.

Union president Steve Clelland said rank-and-file firefighters think the two men should be stripped of their promotions and demoted to lieutenant.

"What the fire chief is saying is the punishment for cheating is a month's pay, in exchange for a lifetime of benefits," said Clelland, noting that the higher rank means tens of thousands more in wages and pension over the course of a career. "They stole these promotions from other firefighters and their families."
I agree with Clelland. This entire episode is a black eye for the Orlando Fire Department, and shows a total lack of leadership in the department. Did Will and Johnson cheat, because they knew Reynolds was unlikely or too weak to act?

These two fire officials are getting off easy. As I feel with law enforcement, fire men should be held to a high standard so far as personal conduct goes. Both of these men cheated on the test, and unless that is in dispute, Johnson and Will should be fired, and not demoting them is a disgrace. So I name Fire Chief Jim Reynolds, Deputy Chief Rudolph Johnson and District Chief Brian Will today's Knuckleheads of the Day. Now put that down on your resume guys!

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