Greater Naples fire captain accused of stealing money from union

Posted: Aug 10, 2018 6:49 PM Updated:

A Greater Naples Fire captain is accused of taking money from the local fire union and from other firefighters.

Greater Naples Board of Fire Commissioners said they were told of the allegations from other firefighters.

One commissioner publicly brought up the concerns at the board of fire commissioner’s meeting last month.

After weeks of hearing rumors about a Greater Naples Fire captain, Commissioner Rob Boyer spoke up in public.

“I would like to know what’s being done when you borrow money from a rookie firefighter, and you’re ranked as a Captain and you don’t pay it back, you take money from the Union and haven’t paid it back,” Boyer said.

Boyer said he's heard allegations that he finds "appalling,” including that the fire captain has taken thousands of dollars from the union. Boyer also said he’s heard the captain was borrowing money from firefighters and not paying it back.

“I question the integrity and the honesty of any firefighter that’s in this organization that does those standards, and I would like an investigation of our staff to find out what’s going on in the union,” Boyer said.

A fire commissioner said the accusations stem back to a fire union fundraiser selling T-shirts for breast cancer awareness, and to raise money for union family members with cancer. No criminal complaints have been filed and another commissioner said the allegations are just speculation.

“Thus far the issue remains to be a union issue, and not a district issue at this exact time,” chairman Brian Cross said.

District Fire Chief Kingman Schuldt said he's working with the district's legal team to investigate the matter.

“Anytime there’s an accusation or an assessment that there might be an impropriety in the behavior or actions of a member, we look into those matters very seriously," Schuldt said. "We will conduct all necessary investigations, and we will hold our people accountable for any inappropriate actions that may have taken place.”

He said if there is evidence of an isolated incident, it will be addressed aggressively.

Schuldt also said the Greater Naples Fire District will not participate in any joint fundraisers with the Fire Union until this matter is cleared up.