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Thread: City Wins Round In FDNY $$ Flap

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    City Wins Round In FDNY $$ Flap

    CITY WINS ROUND IN FDNY $$ FLAP

    May 30, 2003 --
    A Brooklyn judge yesterday made it easier for the city to reduce manning in 49 of the city's engine company.

    Supreme Court Justice James Starkey ordered the Uniformed Firefighters Association to post a bond of $4.5 million if the union wants a preliminary injunction against the FDNY to stay in place.

    Because the UFA doesn't expect to post the bond, the judge will not impose an injunction - and the city can move ahead with plans to cut staffing at 49 fire-engine companies. The earliest that could happen is June 9, said William Fraenkel, a city assistant corporation counsel.

    But the case is still going ahead in court. An appeals court hearing is set for June 17, said UFA spokesman Tom Butler.


    Dan Kadison


    http://www.nypost.com/news/regionalnews/58212.htm

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    FDNY union burned

    FDNY union burned

    Judge in city staff-cut suit demands 4.5M bond

    By ALICE McQUILLAN
    DAILY NEWS STAFF WRITER

    The firefighters union must put up $4.5 million if it wants to stop the city from cutting manpower at 49 engine companies while the issue is decided in court, a Brooklyn judge ruled yesterday.

    Firefighters union officials vowed to continue their fight, but acknowledged they cannot afford the bond to stave off immediate cuts.

    Brooklyn Supreme Court Justice James Starkey ordered the union to post the bond to reimburse the city in case the courts decide the staffing cuts were warranted.

    The city would lose $43,541 every day that the 20% manpower cuts are delayed, officials say.

    "It's unfortunate because it's impossible for us to post that kind of bond, we don't have the resources," said Steven Cassidy, president of the Uniformed Firefighters Association.

    The ruling represents a victory for the hardball strategy of asking for high bonds in lawsuits that oppose budget cuts.

    City lawyers also suggested asking for a bond last week in another lawsuit against closing six firehouses.

    However that request became moot when Starkey failed to order an injunction against the firehouse closings and they were shut down last weekend.

    A high hurdle

    The union and the New York Civil Liberties Union view this multimillion-dollar bond demand as unfair, chilling attempts to bring lawsuits against the government.

    "It creates a huge barrier getting into court to challenge the government," said Christopher Dunn, the NYCLU's associate legal director.

    City Corporation Counsel Chief Assistant Leonard Koerner, Chief for the Appeals Division, said although the bond request has been used infrequently in the past, hard fiscal times call for it now.

    "It's been done sparingly in the past, but in cases like this one, where there is a specific fiscal impact and the city is in a fiscal crisis, it's a remedy that is sanctioned by civil practice law and rules," said Koerner.

    The city had asked the union to post a bond of $6.5 million, based on how much officials figured a five-month legal battle would cost.

    The union said it could put up $5,000.

    Originally published on May 30, 2003

    http://www.nydailynews.com/news/stor...4p-80167c.html

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