South Carolina: Firefighters Union Criticizes Delay of Charleston Report

May 7, 2008

The nation’s largest firefighters union is criticizing Charleston, S.C. Mayor Joe Riley’s decision to delay a report on how nine firefighters died in a fire last June.

The report by a city-appointed panel was expected this week and was expected to include a detailed review of the department’s response to the Sofa Super Store fire.

Riley said May 2 he wouldn’t release the report until two federal agencies release their findings. The Charleston Post and Courier reported May 6 at least one of those reports might be four months away.

International Association of Fire Fighters General President Harold Schaitberger accuses Riley of orchestrating a “cover-up” that endangers firefighters’ lives.

Riley says he appreciates the concerns of union leaders but thinks delaying the report is the best way to ensure its accuracy.

Information from: The Post and Courier,

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