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Firefighter Sick Leave Abuse Just Plain Sickening

Some Clark County firefighters have been outrageously abusing the sick leave system according to emails recently reveal, and the Las Vegas Review-Journal notes this morning that “no firefighter or department manager has been fired or punished for misusing the sick leave system.”

“The e-mails show that some firefighters worked with supervisors to arrange sick calls, sometimes months in advance, for vacation rather than for medical problems,” the RJ reported. “I will need July 17, 19 and 21 off (sick of course),” wrote one firefighter last April, “and my last day of work will be the 23rd. I would like to work overtime on July 1, July 5. Thanks for being so nice about this and working with me. I really, really appreciate it!”

This was one of the ways some firefighters gamed the system to rack up salaries and overtime in excess of $200,000 a year! And contrary to assertions by Lyin’ Ryan Beaman, the firefighter union boss, it wasn’t just a few isolated examples of abuse. The RJ reported this afternoon that “230 Clark County firefighters took excessive sick leave in 2009.”

That’s ONE THIRD of the entire workforce!

And whose fault is it? The firefighters? Their union? Their supervisors? No. If you believe Lyin’ Ryan (but why would you?), Clark County Commissioner Steve Sisolak is to blame for daring to bring the abuse to the public’s attention and expose these greedy “public servants.”

Seriously, though. Why hasn’t anyone been fired for this yet?

As if the abuse of sick leave isn’t enough to burn you up over these greedy firefighters, get this: LVRJ columnist John L. Smith reported on Sunday that “dozens of county and city firefighters earn six-figure pay in Southern Nevada, but actually live in Southern Utah and elsewhere.” Smith notes that these are “government employees paid with Southern Nevada tax dollars” and maintains “it shouldn’t be too much to ask to have them live in the state that pays their bills.” Indeed.