Controversial deputy fire chief makes 'Sunshine List' despite being on leave
Published Tuesday, April 2, 2019 6:33PM EDT
By all accounts he hasn't been on the job for two years, but public documents show London’s Deputy Fire Chief Brian McLaughlin continues to collect a six-figure salary from the city.
Staff members say he was last seen leaving Fire Station Number One in April 2017.
He left - taking a leave - under a cloud of controversy, with allegations of bullying and harassment swirling around the station.
John Hassan, former president of the London Professional Fire Fighters Association (LPFFA), says, "If it was a bargaining-unit member they would have resolved it a long time ago, usually not in the employees favour."
Now retired from the department, Hassan continues to maintain close ties with many of the members and act as a support with advice based on his experience.
But he says, “Despite the city seeming to say they're going to address this in the workplace, this, to me, shows they're not taking it as seriously as they could be."
Hassan received notification from current and former fire department staff that McLaughlin's name appears on the 2018 public salary disclosure list.
Also known as the ‘Sunshine List,’ it indicates he received almost $170,000 from the city last year.
"It leads me to believe there's still a pretty big double standard when it comes to managers. And nothing about this, to me, passes the smell test whatsoever," Hassan says.
McLaughlin was the deputy in charge of fire prevention, but the role has been handled by Acting Deputy Fire Chief Jack Burt for almost two years.
Burt says he can't discuss personnel issues, but did say that he continues to hold the title of acting deputy chief.
No one from the city was available for comment by end of day Tuesday, but in the past officials have declined comment, also citing privacy issues when it comes to personnel.