Brown administration rules by intimidation

The latest revelation that a deputy fire commissioner is running unauthorized criminal background checks on Fire Department personnel and others is no surprise. The Buffalo Fire and Police departments have been working for a mayor who is very comfortable using threats, intimidation and bullying to get his way. The mayor and his cohorts may walk around in suits and ties, but this has been one of the most ruthless administrations to work under in years.

In all the years Jimmy Griffin was mayor, he never passed over a qualified candidate on a civil service promotional list. Under this regime, it is common practice to pass over several candidates on every new promotional list. Why? Because the administration can – that’s why. If you are politically connected or have contributed or belong to the mayor’s so-called club, you are on safe ground. But God help you if you are up for promotion and you have any union connections or write any critical letters in The News or have had a run-in with Steve Casey. This political appointee rules over all the hirings and firings that pass through City Hall. From garbage collectors to police and fire personnel to department heads and commissioners, all must get Casey’s stamp of approval.

Presently there are two cases in the court system concerning city employees who have been treated unfairly. The one concerning the deputy fire commissioner may lead to criminal charges once all the facts are uncovered. I think it’s just a matter of time before others come forward with similar complaints. To all police officers and firefighters: Stay safe and keep up the good fight.

Phil Ryan

Retired, Buffalo Fire Department

West Seneca