NAPLES, Fla. – In an 800-page investigation former fire chief Steve McInerny, who was fired in March, is accused of telling firefighters to let buildings burn, among other serious allegations.
Fire union president Adam Nadelman said McInerny told his firefighters to let buildings burn so they could get more funding to make improvements to the department.
“He’s constantly, you know: “Hey, burn one to the ground for me.’ I always tell him the same thing: ‘You know i can’t do that,” McInerny said. “And he always replies ‘It won’t be your fault.'”
Nadelman filed a complaint and told investigators that the chief directed firefighters to beef up damage reports and make it appear that fires were more intense.
“Over the years, you take the numbers and compare them you can see we’re busier, we’re running more calls, we’re running more fires,” Nadelman said.
McInerny is accused of refusing to fix mold issues until the conditions got so bad that city leaders would agree to replacing the fire station.
“We have leaking showers with mold growing on the floors. It put us in a situation where we’re living in substandard quarters because he’s insisting on wanting this huge fire station,” Nadelman told investigators.
The former chief also wanted the largest fire boat possible, according to Nadelman.
McInerny’s lawyer said the accusations are bogus and that his client will be vindicated.