With the announcement that the 20-year general president of the International Association of Fire Fighters will abruptly end his re-election bid, the organization’s reputation as a political force is in trouble. On Aug. 28, federal investigators served the IAFF a flurry of subpoenas, which the Wall Street Journal reports are part of a criminal probe focused on illicit payouts to Schaitberger from the firefighters’ pension fund. IAFF President Harold Schaitberger is, indeed, feeling the heat.
The investigation shines a light on the corrupt practices of politically connected union executives who put their interests above workers. Schaitberger is the top labor supporter of presidential candidate Joe Biden and was the earliest endorser of his primary campaign in April 2019. Yet, as a longtime IAFF local president, I can attest firsthand that Schaitberger’s political views are not widely shared by IAFF firefighters.
I was the first local president to publicly call for an investigation into the allegations against him by IAFF’s