New York fire chief readies new lawsuit over 9/11 related illness

  • Source: Utica Observer-Dispatch
  • Published: 09/14/2018 12:00 AM

The ongoing dispute involving Utica fire Chief Russell Brooks and his health started more than a year ago with an application. Citing his diagnosis for chronic lymphocytic leukemia, which he says resulted from responding to New York City to support 9/11 recovery efforts, Brooks applied for benefits outlined under General Municipal Law 207-a. The law entitles firefighters to medical or hospital expenses as a result of on-duty injuries or illnesses. Mayor Robert Palmieri — the city’s public safety commissioner — denied Brooks’ request, however, leading to a number of public spats and several court appearances ever since. The mayor also placed Brooks on paid, indeterminate, nondisciplinary leave the same day his 207-a application was rejected. Brooks sought arbitration to appeal the city’s denial, and in the time since, the status of that appeal for 207-a benefits was unresolved — until about a month ago.


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