Attorney for disciplined Hobart firefighter won't appeal client's five-day suspension

2013-01-22T20:00:00Z 2013-02-14T16:36:04Z Attorney for disciplined Hobart firefighter won't appeal client's five-day suspensionDeborah Laverty, (219) 762-1397, ext. 2223

HOBART | The attorney for disciplined Hobart firefighter Lt. Mark Slonaker said he won't appeal his client's five-day suspension.

"Even though we disagree he was guilty of anything, anytime, the risks of filing a lawsuit outweigh the benefits. He will still be promoted," attorney Michael Deppe said.

Deppe said he has changed his mind about filing an appeal following the Hobart Board of Public Works decision last week.

That decision upheld the five-day unpaid suspension imposed by the Fire Commission last month with a few changes.

The commission placed Slonaker on probation for one year and make him ineligible for a promotion during that time.

The Board of Public Works, at the suggestion of City Attorney Anthony DeBonis, had that reversed.

DeBonis told the board the Fire Commission doesn't have the authority to put Slonaker on probation or make him ineligible for promotion.

The commission found Slonaker guilty on three of five charges filed against him and not guilty on two of the charges.

Central to the Slonaker disciplining was the fact that, as a firefighter, he is not allowed to gossip, berate or discredit the department or other firefighters, the commission said.

The commission found Slonaker guilty of that charge through the conversation he reportedly had with a barber shop owner, who had been Slonaker's former girlfriend.

Deppe said nothing definitive was ever proved against his client.

"I still believe it was the result of a lover scorned," Deppe said.

Although Slonaker had not yet served his five-day suspension as of last week, Deppe said he believes his client is to begin serving it starting this week.

Fire Chief Brian Taylor could not be reached for comment.

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