Boston fire chief threatens to sue deputies

Boston Fire Chief Steve Abraira is threatening to sue 13 deputy chiefs for defamation. Credit: Google images
Boston Fire Chief Steve Abraira is threatening to sue 13 deputy chiefs for defamation. Credit: Google images

Boston Fire chief Steve Abraira will sue his deputy chiefs if they don’t stop making “defamatory” statements, his lawyer said.

The Boston Globe obtained a letter that attorney Louis M. Ciavarra sent to 13 deputy chiefs last week regarding a letter the deputies had sent to Boston Mayor Thomas Menino, criticizing Abraira’s handling of the marathon bombings.

The letter, signed by all but one of the department’s deputy chiefs, called Abraira’s “inactions” after the Boylston Street explosions “indefensible,” and claimed the marathon was just one example of the chief failing to take command.

“[Abraira] shields himself from immediate accountability while setting the stage for undermining the confidence and authority of his command staff,” the deputy chiefs wrote to Menino. “While acknowledging his ultimate accountability for department operations, he avoids on-the-scene responsibility.”

In response, Ciavarra told the deputies his firm will file a lawsuit against them “should any further such conduct ­occur.”

“Your conduct is nothing more than a transparent effort to hide the inadequacies of your own performance and to interfere with my client’s efforts to improve the Boston Fire Department,” Ciavarra wrote.

Ciavarra also attacked the deputies for sending the letter on April 26 — 11 days after the bombings.

“[The] timing of your letter, and in particular, linking it to the tragedy of April 15 is reprehensible,” Ciavarra said, calling it “a misplaced and frankly outrageous attack intended to strengthen your ability to reject and obstruct Chief ­Abraira’s efforts to bring the BFD in line with modern firefighting practices.”

Attorney Joseph Donnellan, who represents the deputy chiefs, said Ciavarra is trying to prevent them from testifying at a City Council hearing next month about their concerns. Donnellan also said the deputy chiefs would file a countersuit if Abraira takes legal action.

Abraira was appointed to lead the Boston Fire Department in 2011 after serving in Dallas and Miami, the first outsider to take the job.

Menino voiced support for Abraira after the deputy chiefs’ letter was publicized, saying, “He has a future as long as I am here.”

Fire Commissioner Roderick Fraser, who appointed Abraira, wouldn’t comment to the Globe about Ciavarra’s letter, but has said he ­approves of Abraira’s job performance.

Follow Metro Boston on Twitter: @MetroBos



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
International

Dinosaurs could have survived asteroid strike

It turns out there is a good and a bad time for the planet to be hit by a meteor, and dinosaurs were just unlucky.…

National

OkCupid admits to Facebook-style experimenting on customers

By Sarah McBrideSAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - OkCupid, a top U.S. matchmaking website, intentionally mismatched users to test its technology, the IAC/InterActive Corp service said on…

Local

MTA fares still increasing 4 percent in newly…

The agency said the 4 percent increases, previously announced in December, will remain steady even as the MTA deals with increasing labor costs.

Local

De Blasio, Bratton defend city's efforts after Eric…

Mayor Bill de Blasio justified the city's response to the death of Eric Garner, a Staten Island man who died while in police custody earlier this month.

Movies

Interview: Brendan Gleeson on the way 'Calvary' depicts…

Brendan Gleeson talks about how his new film "Calvary" began over drinks and how his character here is the opposite of the lead in "The Guard."

Movies

'Get on Up' producer Mick Jagger on the…

Mick Jagger, a producer on the James Brown biopic "Get on Up," talks about the time had to tell the singer some bad news and his favorite JB record.

Television

'Glee' star Lea Michele to appear on 'Sons…

"Glee" star Lea Michele has been confirmed as a guest star in the final season of "Sons of Anarchy."

Television

TV watch list, Monday, July 28: 'The Bachelorette'…

See Andi Dorfman make her big choice on tonight's 'Bachelorette' finale.

NFL

Larry Donnell has inside track in Giants tight…

Little-known Larry Donnell of Grambling State currently has the inside track, as the second-year player has received the bulk of the first-team reps.

NFL

Computer to Jets: Start Michael Vick over Geno…

Jets general manager John Idzik says the choice of who starts between second-year quarterback Geno Smith and veteran Michael Vick will be a “Jets decision.”

MLB

Yankees looking to trade for Josh Willingham: Report

CBS Sports’ Jon Heyman reported Sunday the Yankees are interested in Twins outfielder Josh Willingham.

MLB

Joe Torre: I'm in Hall of Fame because…

Joe Torre spent 18 years putting together a near Hall of Fame career as a player. But it was the 12 years he spent as…

Travel

Glasgow: Hey, hey, the gangs aren't here

This European city has done a good job getting rid of its more violent residents and revitalizing with artists.

Education

Babson College tops list of best colleges for…

Money magazine has just released its inaugural list of "The Best Colleges for Your Money" -- and the answers have surprised many. Babson College, which…

Education

NYC teens learn how to develop apps during…

Through a program sponsored by CampInteractive, the high schoolers designed their own community-focused apps.

Tech

The Ministry of Silly Walks app is both…

Monty Python have dug into their back catalogue for cash-ins once more, but with the Ministry of Silly Walks app, they've made something that's fun too.