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UPDATED: New London Offers To Reinstate Mayo [VIDEO]

Mayor says no new expenditure is needed to hire Alfred Mayo, but that he would be vulnerable if the fire department needs to make layoffs

Mayor Daryl Finizio said this afternoon that the 's budget includes funds for Alfred Mayo's employment and that the city is working to make reductions in the department without layoffs, but that Mayo would be vulnerable if layoffs have to occur.

Finizio said in a press conference that the funds for Mayo's position had been budgeted and that his position was not one of that are not being funded in fiscal year 2013. He said he considered it fair to pay Mayo back wages, since he would have been hired had recent information been available to the administration, and that Mayo's legal fees are "not significant" since the legal work in the matter was still in its preparatory stage.

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Finizio said the city is currently negotiating with the firefighters' union to meet the reductions approved by the City Council.

"At this point, we are not considering layoffs in that department," he said.

However, Finizio said that if the negotiations are unsuccessful and layoffs are needed, Mayo would be laid off since the union rules stipulate that the most recent hires are terminated first if personnel reductions are necessary.

Finizio said he did not regret his initial decision to uphold Mayo's termination, but made the decision with the intent of holding employees to the same standards. He said the decision was based on reports from Fire Chief Ron Samul as well as the Connecticut Fire Academy. Finizio also said he was disturbed to hear other black recruits say they had encountered problems at the academy and that he considered the results of an "very profound."

"We have to make determinations based upon the information we receive," he said.

Finizio said he has heard informally that Mayo has accepted the offer. Mayo must still go through in-house training and be sworn in.

"He's a good person," Finizio said. "Nothing involved in this process, from my viewpoint, has ever been personal."

Original story:

Mayor Daryl Finizio has offered to rehire a firefighter recruit whose employment was terminated two days before his graduation from the Connecticut Fire Academy last year. He will hold a press conference on the decision at 12:30 p.m. today.

reports that Finizio has offered Alfred Mayo "unconditional reinstatement," back pay, and attorney's fees following the resolution of a matter involving Mayo's driver's license. Mayo said he plans to accept the offer.

Mayo will become the first black firefighter hired for the since 1978. He was hired by the department to begin training in September, but terminated after Fire Chief Ron Samul said he had received five communications from the academy regarding concerns with Mayo's behavior. Despite not graduating, Mayo passed the tests necessary to be certified as a firefighter.

The issue was taken up by , which said they did not feel the circumstances cited by the academy and fire department warranted termination. An later determined that the academy should have handled any disciplinary issues in-house rather than making repeated notifications to Samul. The investigation concluded that some of the academy's notifications “were inappropriate and contained adverse conclusions concerning Mr. Mayo that were not solidly based in evidence.”

Following the investigation, Finizio said he would make a determination on Mayo's case once he was certain that there would be no problems with Mayo's driver's license, saying possession fo a license is an "essential qualifier for becoming a firefighter." Mayo was cited for a motor vehicle infraction by the Connecticut State Police while driving from the academy in November.

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NewLondonSource May 03, 2012 at 03:18 PM
Not so fast... How generous of the Fiz, to offer up monies not currently in the budget. Who/what is he going to offer to cut to fund what should have been a completely avoidable mess? I guess the hard decision is in council's hands now; they will have the hard decision with regards to whether they will fund this settlement or not. Either way, the Fiz figured out how to wash his hands of the matter and pass the turd. How 'transparent' of him...
Bud Wizer May 03, 2012 at 03:29 PM
It will largely be Mr. Mayo's fellow first-responders who determine whether our mayor's reconsideration shall prove a progressive benchmark. May they welcome him heartily, assist him appropriately, and, most of all, make clear that charges of racism reflect more systemic issues than our firefighters being racially biased in any way. I'm betting they will, as Deputy Chief Kydd's career so clearly demonstrates, albeit singly and signally.
Dirk Langeveld May 03, 2012 at 05:02 PM
Just attended the press conference and will be posting an update; main points are that this does not represent new money since the position was budgeted for (and is not one of the vacancies being unfunded), that the city is negotiating with the firefighters' union to make budget cuts without layoffs, and that if layoffs are necessary they are likely to affect Mayo since layoffs would go by seniority.

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