Bars Politics from New York Department

Bars Politics from New York Department

Three hundred and forty-nine newly appointed probationary firemen in New York have been informed by Joseph Johnson, fire commissioner, that he had just issued an order prohibiting them from becoming members of the Firemen’s Mutual Benefit Association. The commissioner asked the district attorney to investigate the conduct and accounts of that organization a month ago. James Clifford, who was dismissed from his captaincy in the department, is head of the benefit organization. Commissioner Johnson said that he believed the money and influence of the association had been used recently for lobbying for the two-platoon bill at Albany. The new order does not affect men already in the department, because they have made payments’ which they would lose, as well as the prospective benefits to be derived from their membership. “But I want to give the older men a warning,” the commissioner said. “The department’s pension system was instituted under the old system of continuous service and not upon the two-platoon basis. I am sure the pension system would not suffer under the two-platoon system, but if you continue to fight for the two-platoon system your chances for larger salaries will be endangered. The board of estimate and the city government would look askance at any attempt to get higher pay and shorter hours at one and the same time. It is necessary to stop for all time all outside influence in this department.”

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