FORMER LOCAL FIRE BATTALLION CHIEF SUING COUNTY

FORMER LOCAL FIRE BATTALLION CHIEF SUING COUNTY

A former County Fire Division Chief is suing the County, alleging age discrimination. John Salvate, 50, who was a Division Chief from 2011 to 2013 for the South Desert Division—which includes the Morongo Basin—and Battalion Chief Michael Weis, 62, of Victorville, contend in their lawsuit that the Fire Department has been trying to oust older firefighters ever since Chief Mark Hartwig was appointed three years ago. According to the 86-page lawsuit, the Fire Department is pushing out older personnel in exchange for younger—and cheaper—employees. Salvate and Weiss claim that the Fire Department “failed to afford and provide [them] with equal employment opportunities … that must be provided to employees irrespective of age.” Salvate and Weiss are asking for an undisclosed amount in damages. The County’s legal counsel has not yet responded to the allegations.

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