Skip to primary navigation Skip to main content

Fire union turns to Council

By Jill Terreri

The Buffalo Professional Firefighters Association is turning to the Common Council for help in obtaining answers about a top Fire Department official's use of the county's criminal background check system to look in to the background of other firefighters

At least one firefighter, William Buyers, received confirmation from the county's department of Central Police Services that in 2009 Deputy Commissioner Joseph Tomizzi, then an arson investigator, ran Buyers' name through the background check system, which can be used only in the course of investigating crimes, according to state guidelines. 

The union that represents firefighters suspects Tomizzi, an appointee of Mayor Byron Brown, has checked on other firefighters as well, but knows of only of Buyers' case, and that of another man who found out about it after he retired. 

Central Police Services has conducted an audit of Tomizzi's use of the system and has turned it over to Buffalo Fire Commissioner Garnell Whitfield, who is conducting an internal investigation. 

The union has also sought investigations from state and federal authorities, and today sent Legislation Committee Chairman Christopher P. Scanlon a letter asking the Council to get involved. 

"We are asking that this honorable body request a copy of the final report of the investigation from Commissioner Whitfield to review its results and any wrong doings by the Deputy Commissioner Tomizzi," wrote Thomas Barrett, union vice president. 

The city's Department of Communications said Monday that Tomizzi did not want to comment. 

tagged

Byron Brown | Christopher Scanlon | City of Buffalo
comments powered by Disqus
Advertisement

About Politics Now

Robert J. McCarthy

Robert J. McCarthy

A native of Schenectady, Robert J. McCarthy came to The Buffalo News in 1982 following a six-year stint at the Olean Times Herald. He is a graduate of St. Bonaventure University, and has been covering local, state and national politics since 1992.

[email protected]


Tom Precious

Tom Precious

Tom Precious joined The Buffalo News in 1997 as bureau chief at the state Capitol, where he covers everything from statewide politics and state government fiscal affairs to health care, environmental and municipal government matters. Prior to The News, he worked for news outlets in Albany and Washington, DC.

[email protected]


Jill Terreri

Jill Terreri

Jill Terreri is an Amherst native and has covered politics and government in upstate New York since 2003. She joined The Buffalo News in 2012 and covers City Hall.

@jillterreri | [email protected]


Jerry Zremski

Jerry Zremski

Jerry Zremski, The Buffalo News Washington bureau chief, has reported from the nation's capital since 1989 after joining The News as a business reporter in 1984. A graduate of Syracuse University, Zremski is a former Nieman fellow in journalism at Harvard University. In 2007, he served as president of the National Press Club.

@JerryZremski | [email protected]

Subscribe

Advertisement