Judge Upholds City in Roanoke Firefighters’ Grievance

A Roanoke Circuit Court judge on Wednesday upheld the city manager’s decision regarding a complaint by four Roanoke firefighters. The four members of Roanoke Fire-EMS – Andy Foley, Scott Boone, David Lucas and Trevor Shannon – filed a grievance with the city late last month, claiming that promotions they qualified for and were due to receive were never finalized. Their position statement includes a Jan. 5, 2010, memo from the office of Roanoke Fire-EMS Chief David Hoback announcing their rise to the rank of lieutenant.

In August, City Manager Chris Morrill determined that their complaint was filed improperly and well beyond the 20-day time limit the city requires. Judge William Broadhurst on Wednesday concurred with Morrill’s decision, according to the firefighters’ lawyer, John Loeschen. “There’s nothing we can do,” Loeschen said. He said Foley, Boone, Lucas and Shannon will “keep doing what they’ve done the last few years. “Meanwhile the city gets the benefit of people who are educated and trained as lieutenants, but they only have to pay them as firefighters.”

Their collective pay increase would amount to about an additional $6,000 a year, he said. Earlier this month, acting City Attorney Tim Spencer and Roanoke Fire-EMS spokeswoman Tiffany Bradbury declined to comment on the grievance because it is a personnel matter.

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