After The Buffalo News asked about Niagara Falls (NY) Fire Chief Roger Melchior’s postings on the forum of the Baltimore Fire Officers Association the mayor fired the chief. According to the paper, postings under Melchior’s name referred to people from Cairo as “camel jockeys”. Melchior, 63, previously worked in Baltimore and Green Bay.
The paper says it was contacted by a ranking firefighter in Baltimore concerned about the comments.
The article says Melchior had been under fire after taking a two week vacation following a long medical leave shortly after he started in Niagara Falls.
Late last week, Melchior denied to a reporter — then to city officials — that he posted any messages on the forum used by firefighters in Baltimore, where he once worked, and said that someone must have been posting under his name.
Falls Mayor Paul A. Dyster and other city leaders, however, concluded that because some of the posts contained information about meetings and other events in the Falls that were known only to a small number of people, Melchoir was misleading them.
“There were two separate issues,” Dyster said today. “What comments were posted and did he own up to posting them? He did not.”
The flap involving the online postings was “just the icing on the cake” which led to Melchior’s termination, (City Council Chairman Samuel) Fruscione said. He said there were other problems the Council had with him.
“Since his appointment in November, he has hardly ever worked. He spent most of time on sick leave and vacation time,” the Council president said. “He wasn’t a big performer overall.”
He collapsed shortly after he was sworn in, and after leaving the hospital, collapsed again at his home, breaking his leg.