The head of the city firefighters union disrupted a promotional ceremony Wednesday, confronting the acting fire chief with an allegation that the promotion wasn’t in line with the city charter.
The confrontation by fire union President Frank Ricci preceded a small ceremony, with city officials and Antonio Almodovar’s wife at the department’s headquarters on Grand Avenue, during which Almodovar was promoted from acting director of training to director of training.
Acting Fire Chief Ralph Black and others, including Ricci, said Almodovar deserved the promotion and has served the city well.
But before the ceremony could begin, Ricci challenged Black’s authority to make the promotion, saying the city Board of Fire Commissioners hadn’t followed proper procedures at a May 31 meeting.
“I can’t believe you’re lying to Channel 8 News,” says New Haven Fire Union President Frank Ricci who confronted Acting Chief Ralph Black about the promotion of Antonio Almodovar to director of training.
Ricci wasn’t arguing about Almodovar’s qualifications. He scored first on the test. But instead he was upset that he says protocol wasn’t being followed.
“This is the most serious issue facing New Haven,” Ricci tells the chief.
“I don’t believe that this… I don’t believe that this is the time and place,” Chief Black tries to interject.
Ricci says the promotion should have been approved by the fire commission first at the May 31st meeting before the swearing in took place to abide by the city charter. Otherwise he says the promotion could be in jeopardy.