HOW TO OBTAIN EXEMPTION FROM CIVIC DUTIES.
The New York Herald of May 20 has the following extraordinary story, under the heading of “1,500 ‘Bitten’ in Firemen’s Scheme”: “Interesting details of how the volunteer fire companies of Staten Island obtained ‘easy’ money from New York city employes just before the extension of the paid fire service to Richmond were told in the suit brought by Patrick H. Dalton, of No. 756 Bergen street, Brooklyn, for reinstatement as bookkeeper in the register’s office, on the ground that he was a volunteer fireman and protected by the civil service regulations. Judge Dickey has handed down a decision against Dalton, which, if sustained, will affect the rights of more than 1,500 city emploves who became volunteer firemen for the protection. Dalton was elected a member of the Tompkins hose company No. 6, of Tompkinsville, and continued as an active member from July to October, 1905, when the paid department service became effective, lit January. 190.4, lie was appointed in the regis ter’s office, and was discharged for political reasons, the place not being in the classified service. Raymond V. Ingersoll asserted in an affidavit that James H. McAvoy, secretary of the company, told him that before July there were only twentv-eight active members, but that in July and August 339 residents of other counties were admitted, the greater number • being city employes. An admission fee of $14 was charged, with an additional fee of $2 for a certificate. Non-resident members were obliged to sign waivers to all claims to the property and assets of the company on disbandment. Circulars were sent to city officials showing the advantages of joining for the purpose of obtaining civil service protection as an exempt volunteer, and the manev began to roll into the treasury, all of which has since been divided among the resident members. Not satisfied with the admission fees from the nonresident members, a fine of twenty-five cents was imposed for every absence from a fire when an alarm was sent in. Then a committee was appointed to see that a sufficient number of alarms were sent in, so that the receipts from this source alone amounted to a large sum, there being fifty alarms one month. It was manifestly impossible for a man in Brooklyn to attend every tire or any lire on Staten Island; but the non-residents paid the fines willingly for the protection which they expected to receive. The excuse given by Mr. McAvoy was that the other companies were making money, and the members of No. 6 thought they might as well get the price of a few suits of clothes. It will be a shock to many of the astute city employes to know that the Staten Island men have sold them a ‘gold brick,’ for by Judge Dickey’s decision they will receive no civil service protection.”