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Aspiring Fireman Passed Over For Job Takes Legal Action Against Troy Township Fire Commissioners

The man wants the firefighter chosen instead of him kicked off the department so he can take his place.

Credit: Joseph Hosey
Credit: Joseph Hosey
A man hoping to make it onto the Troy Township Fire Department has taken legal action against three fire commissioners and the applicant chosen ahead of him.

Randy Talaski filed a complaint for administrative review against Troy Fire Protection District Commissioners Gerry Gabrielson, Steve Schwartz and Denzil Smothers, and Firefighter Craig Bowden.

According to the filing, Talaski was sixth on a list of 27 eligible hires. The list was released April 6, 2012, and was to be good for two years, the complaint said.

Bowden was eighth on the list but Talaski was passed over in favor of him, the complaint said.

Fire commission secretary Stephanie Rosado sent Talaski a letter March 25—12 days before the list expired—notifying him that he was being passed over for someone farther down the list. The letter was included in the court file.

"This is to advise you that the Board of Fire Commissioners elected to select a candidate ranking below you but in the top five on the list due to its belief that the selected candidate would better serve the needs of the department," the letter said. "The basis of this was the other candidate's prior service to the District as a volunteer/part time employee and as a contract employee, in which he served in an exemplary capacity."

In his complaint, Talaski asks the commissioners to reverse the decision to pass him over, negate Bowden's appointment, and pay Talaski the "full salary, fringe benefits, and emoluments of the position of firefighter of the Troy Fire Protection District."

Messages left at the fire commission's listed number went unreturned. The commission's attorney, Thomas Gilbert, said he had yet to receive the complaint and could not comment until he did so.

Talaski's attorney, Thomas McGuire of Long Grove, failed to respond to a call for comment. A message left at a number listed for Talaski in Blue Island was not returned.

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seer. May 01, 2014 at 11:08 PM
Why not a split picture of this and the other fully staffed fire barn that we get stuck with the bill for in this 1 horse town? Remember govt hiring's golden rule- friends and family only.
west sider May 02, 2014 at 07:40 AM
This may have had something to do with his attitude or maybe it was that the guy that was hired knew someone. You have to know someone in the right place to get hired now. This is how it works in any company. Every job is about the connection you make with the people around you in life. Why do people expect it to be any different in government positions?
Tom Zielinski May 05, 2014 at 12:58 AM
That might be true (west sider) in Podunk USA, but in larger Union departments the list is the list. Unless you commit a Felony you get hired in order. Now for the guy suing, move on and take another test. You obviously have no idea about the Fire Service Environment. If you force your way in you'll never be accepted and end up hating your job and quit anyway. Have you done any research?? Pay and benefits at Troy are about 1/2 of a good full time union department. Most of the guys at Troy work at another department also.
seer. May 06, 2014 at 11:51 PM
T Z- "never be accepted"? sounds like a catty group of teen girls. also- this smacks of favoritism- but we are talking about podunk Shorewood where friends and family get to suckle the taxpayer teat.
Dense much? May 08, 2014 at 09:11 AM
I liked the volunteer system we had before with all the want-to-be firemen sitting out in front of the old fire barn burning hotdogs on the grill.

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