Newark fire director accused of racial discrimination, creating public safety risk, lawsuit says

Today’s post was shared by The Workers’ Injury Law & Advocacy Group and comes from www.nj.com

An arson investigator with the Newark Fire Department has filed a lawsuit against the city and Fire Director James Stewart, alleging he suffered racial discrimination and retaliation.Robert Sciarrino/The Star-Ledger 

NEWARK — A nearly 30-year member of the Newark Fire Department claims in a new lawsuit that he suffered racial discrimination as well as retaliation for reporting alleged misconduct by the city’s fire director.

As part of that harassment, Ramon Irizarry, currently an arson investigator, alleges city officials created a public safety risk by denying him a service weapon.

“It’s not only discriminatory. It’s downright dangerous,” said Edward Nolan, an attorney representing Irizarry in the lawsuit he filed on Aug. 25 in New Jersey Superior Court against Newark and Fire Director James Stewart.

“If he’s in a situation where he needs his gun, it could not only jeopardize his own health, but his co-workers and members of the public,” Nolan said.

The lawsuit suggests the harassment was in retaliation for Irizarry reporting to authorities that Stewart “sought to provide a firearm to a former arson investigator who was not allowed to be armed and sent unqualified and politically-connected candidates to the Newark Fire Academy.”

Newark officials declined to comment, and Stewart could not be reached for comment. Stewart has previously been ensnared in separate state and county investigations.

A Fair Lawn…

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