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Thread: Leave it to the Firemen
01-09-07, 11:27 AM #1
Leave it to the Firemen
2nd firefighter accused of fraud
Was paid while claiming to be on military leave
January 6, 2007
BY ART GOLAB Staff Reporter
A Lemont firefighter and part-time police officer was ordered held on $150,000 bail today, accused of collecting more than $27,000 in pay and benefits while falsely claiming to be on military leave.
Steven A. Slawinski, 37, was arrested at the district station by Orland Park police. He is charged with theft and official misconduct, police said.
Two days earlier, Orland Park police arrested Lawrence Masa, an Orland Park fire lieutenant who was charged with similar offenses. The two are good friends, and the arrest of Masa led to the probe into Slawinski, officials said. The pair worked together overseas, officials said.
Slawinski was jailed overnight and is expected to appear in Bond Court on Saturday.
No one could be reached at Slawinski’s Romeoville home Friday.
A press release issued by the Lemont Fire Protection District said the firefighter was arrested “on charges . . . arising out of his request and receipt of compensation while he was on a purported military leave.”
The Lemont Fire Protection District contacted Orland Park police on Thursday about Slawinski, saying they suspected he had provided false documentation regarding his military deployment, according to Orland Park police.
Knowing he was an acquaintance of Masa’s, Orland Park looked into Slawinski. They discovered that he had submitted false documents about his deployment, police said. Those documents allowed him to receive military leave, salary and benefits from the Lemont department from May 24 until Dec. 31, police said.
In fact, they later found Slawinski had not been in the U.S. Navy since 1996, police said. He entered the Navy on Feb. 1, 1995, and was discharged on Jan. 12, 1996, police said, citing military documents.
The fire department pay and benefits received while supposedly on active duty totaled more than $27,000, Orland Park police said.
“He was not a member of the United States Armed Forces during this time period but was employed by a private firm providing training overseas,” according to an Orland Park Police press release.
‘I am just totally appalled’
Masa, 42, faces charges of felony theft and official misconduct after he was accused of doing private security work in the Middle East while claiming he was in the U.S. military. His arrest, and other concerns, caused Lemont police to look at Slawinski.
“There were just a lot of red flags that went up over the last week or so since he’s been home,” said Lemont Fire Chief Carl Churulo.
District President Michael Kasperski described Slawinski as a model firefighter.
“He was probably the best firefighter and paramedic I’ve ever seen,” Kasperski said. “I am just totally appalled by all of this.”
Slawinski has been placed on inactive status and the district.
Lemont police had no comment on the part-time law enforcement officer, who was called a “hero” in a press release last year by a nonprofit organization for helping save an electrocuted man’s life.
"I am the guy that keeps Mister Dead in his pocket." -'Mad' Max Rockatansky
"An Englewood Ranger is no stranger to Danger.." -Unk
Good Night Chesty Where Ever You Are.
A Good Friend will bail you out of jail, but a true friend will be sitting next to you in the cell saying, "That was Awesome."
God Made Police Men so Fireman Would Have Heroes.
01-09-07, 03:36 PM #2
How badly do you have to fuck up for the Navy to kick you out in under a year?\\` ` ` ` < ` )___/\
`` ` ` ` (3--(____)
"...but to forget your duck, of course, means you're really screwed." - Gary Larson
01-09-07, 03:46 PM #3
Hey its the Navy they let the village people write a song about them....
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