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Overtime Pay Scandal Plagues Brentwood Fire Department

Less than a month after former city administrator Chris Seemayer admitted to embezzling city funds, three high-ranking firefighters have been forced into retirement.

Financial scandals continue in Brentwood's government.

An investigative report by St. Louis Post-Dispatch reporter Paul Hampel shows between $12,000 and $28,000 a year for the past 24 years in wasted government spending on undeserved overtime pay for firefighters.

Quoting from the Post's story:

The issue came to light in late March, when Brentwood police were investigating allegations that City Administrator Chris Seemayer was stealing from the city. Police examined his computer and other records and came upon the overtime pay. Seemayer from the city and at the Casino Queen.

Three high-ranking officers, including fire chief Bob Niemeyer and assistant chief Bob Kurtz, have been forced into retirement and two other firefighters have been demoted, the story reports.

But Kurtz was given another job as building commissioner with the city.

Read the full story on STLToday.com.

Yvonne Delgado July 17, 2011 at 03:49 AM
Brentwood firefighters do a wonderful job so I am sad to see this report that puts them in bad light...Mayor Kelly: whats going on in Brentwood???
Chillidan July 17, 2011 at 07:16 PM
Are you stupid Yvonne? Brentwood firefighters don't do anything. To be honest If the brentwood fire department closed nobody would miss them, they put themselves at less risk than any other department while perched atop St. Louis County's list of highest paid firefighters. Its due to suck-ups like you that this scandal went unanswered for so long.
addison54 July 17, 2011 at 09:27 PM
Are you serious? How is this stuff happening? Instead of having the firemen not receive raises for two years, how about they not get raises until all of our hard earned tax money they've been smuggling is returned. I'm losing all of my faith in Brentwood. This fire department is almost as corrupt as the school board.
Shanahan July 18, 2011 at 04:30 AM
Shut the hell up Chillidan, you are a joke and an embarrassment to this forum. Next time you literally have an idea to post, just turn off your computer. All I will say is this quote: " absolute power corrupts absolutely "
Ryan July 18, 2011 at 04:31 AM
No, the real question is are you stupid Chillidan? While this is absolutely ridiculous that there is even this problem with overtime and money but also the fact that you think a fire department should be closed. Are you aware that all public safety bodies aren't there to make money? They are there for the well-being, general security, and quick response time needed for the community. You are either a fire fighter from a neighboring county that is upset with your pay grades or you think your opinion is the only right one and that no one else's matters. How about taking a step back and looking at both sides of the story or considering how public programs work in a city (see ALL CITIES IN THE USA). I don't want to generalize but I would have no problem also believing that you might be one of the persons wanting to get rid of the ice rink in support of adding Brentwood's 45th fitness center in its place.
Chillidan July 19, 2011 at 03:09 AM
While its a fact that sprinkler systems and fire alarms have reduced fires by 80 percent in the last 20 years, we have spent millions on a new fire department and outrageous salaries for the least active fire department in the county. All I'm saying is that Brentwood, Maplewood and Rock Hill could get by with one fire department without putting anyone's lives at risk. And you are stupid as to the fact that you support the fire department when you'll probably never even experience a fire. If you read the newspaper you probably saw the editorial in the Post-Dispatch today that puts it all into perspective. Use your brain, the last major fire in brentwood was 8 or 9 years ago for god sakes.
Chillidan July 19, 2011 at 03:11 AM
And at least I don't get my public program facts watching Ladder 49.
Shanahan July 19, 2011 at 02:03 PM
Again, what did I tell you, if you would come up with something actually intelligent to say then I would encourage you to speak your mind. However, every word that has been typed by you has been an absolute joke. Chillidan, I know what type of person you are, you are the type who bitches about fire and police departments but when you really need help you would call them immediately. That is called being a hypocrite. I guess if you have a fire, you will just have to piss it out then...
Ryan July 19, 2011 at 08:52 PM
HAHAHA! I can hardly believe you'd come up with a logical argument as in the post above you last only to compare our opinions to a movie. Backdraft was a more legit movie by the way, if you want to talk about movies. Ladder 49 wasn't too bad though. Now that we have completely useless nonsense set aside we can get back to the article at hand. Have you a source for this 80% by 20 years claim? You combine fire departments and then you begin downsizing staffing and equipment and now when you have this "major fire" you have to call other departments from even FURTHER away thus equating to critical response time needed to extinguish the fire. And because I have never experienced a fire that now means I have no basis to argue about a fire department? That is about as ignorant as it sounds. So on this basis if my house will never be robbed does that mean I shouldn't support police stations? Because I won't ever be directly at gunpoint with a terrorist or armed soldier from another country that we don't need armed forces anymore? By the way, if you actually lived here (as I'm beginning to doubt) you'd remember that there was a four alarm fire at KV Pharmaceuticals 2 years ago (June 2009). SOURCE: http://www.fox2now.com/ktvi-kv-pharmaceuticals-fire-060109,0,4129894.story . Having 16 area departments respond sounds pretty major to me and I remember it on the news and the smoke.
Chillidan July 21, 2011 at 08:27 PM
I live 5 minutes walking distance from that building and happen to know that everyone in the building was out by the time the fire department arrived thanks to smoke detectors and only one room was damaged by the flames, and your too stupid to realize that fire departments all respond to neighboring cities just so they can add more responses to their lists and appear more active. your getting played like a fiddle yet you don't even realize it. How does it feel being part of the problem?
Ryan July 21, 2011 at 10:53 PM
Just because they all got out in time doesn't change the intensity of the fire and the "major fire" that you are trying to justify. Stop trying to make your last "major fire" comment seem like it wasn't made because I came up with an argument to refute what you just said. I have fire fighters in my family and know how they work, so you WILL NOT take that knowledge away from me. It is looking more and more like you are taking what you know from movies, rather than me as you decided you'd make a comment about earlier. They don't respond just to appear more active by the way...
Jeff August 06, 2011 at 02:09 AM
The firefighters should be ashamed of themselves. They are LIARS and criminals for defrauding the city. They said that they worked a full days work and were paid overtime at and average of $50 and hour when, in fact, they worked as little as three hours. This went on for 24 years! That is theft. There is no other way to put it. The ex cheif and his lackeys should all be made to pay restitution out of their fat pensions. They should be criminally charged. They are a disgrace. BTW, you know they did it because they agreed to give up raises over the next few years up to 8%. Liars. Thieves. Crooks. Disgraceful.
D October 13, 2011 at 08:00 PM
This is directed to Chillidan and Jeff, Before you deem this comment appropriate and placed in a public forum. You need to know what you’re talking about. Attending to fires and maintaining apparatus takes highly knowledgeable people who are constantly training on new strategies, concepts and state-of-art equipment. Did you think their knowledge comes to them naturally or they learn this in their sleep or while standing/laying around? Local fire departments cover one another’s jurisdiction when needed, called mutual aid. So Brentwood firefighters not only cover Brentwood but assist fire and/or medical emergencies mutual aid when needed. They are required to know the lay of the land in these jurisdictions, where each fire hydrant and business key boxes are. Along with annual business safety inspections, firefighters also clean up industrial spills, accident sites, assist with overturned vehicles, etc. Another requirement of most fire fighters is life saving paramedic and constant training. Did you know that sometimes the ambulance has more calls than the fire truck in a day? And did you know the ambulance is called for some of the most mundane reasons by citizens at all times of day/night?
D October 13, 2011 at 08:07 PM
This is directed to Chillidan and Jeff, (continuation of previous blog, due to limited words allowed by network) You are welcome to visit the firehouse anytime. Well, that is when they’re not on an emergency phoned in by a citizen. They are proud to show off the equipment your tax dollars paid for and explain the latest strateg(ies) or newest emergency medical techniques. You will come away knowing your safety is in good hands.
The Insider January 16, 2013 at 11:20 AM
I am curious as to why our Sanitation Dept workers are allowed to clock out after their route is run. They get paid for 40 hours when on most weeks they work approximately 20 hours tops. How is this any different than the fireman's OT pay scandal? Doesn't the city have anything else these trashmen could do after the trash has been picked up?
Jeff January 16, 2013 at 02:25 PM
D, You chose to completely ignore the FACT that the firefighters lied and defrauded the city for 24 years. Did they lie and say that they worked a full day of overtime when they actually only worked as little as three? Did this go on for over two decades? If the answer is yes to those two questions they should be criminally prosecuted and fired. Btw, Brentwood firefighters are the highest paid in the entire metro area. What is going on in this city? It is time for a change of leadership. Mayor Kelly has got to go.

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