"Disabled" firefighter now fighting in a cage.

Josh_R

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Jan 29, 2005
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#1
This dick makes $75,000 TAX FREE for the rest of his life because he is too disabled to work.

http://www.nypost.com/p/news/local/he_beating_the_system_V4MHAtqaCYh1DeuzX8PCDL
That's one knockout of a retirement.
A former city firefighter who retired with a nearly $75,000-a-year tax-free disability pension seven years ago for alleged lung problems is now a mixed-martial-arts fighter, The Post has learned.
John Giuffrida, 42, has spent the last two years wiping the mats with opponents in brutal grappling and Thai-kickboxing matches despite his career-ending diagnoses of lung disease and post-traumatic stress disorder.


"He's scamming the city and slapping all these widows and widowers in the face," a source close to Giuffrida said, adding that he got divorced and took up hiking and scuba diving in his retirement along with martial arts.

"All of a sudden he was cured," the source fumed.
Giuffrida claims that he was forced to retire by a Fire Department medical board after 12 years of service -- collecting a three-quarters-pay pension that the FDNY said comes out to $74,624 a year.
Among the first-responders on 9/11, Giuffrida says he spent 30 days -- including 30 hours nonstop -- doing the grim and toxic recovery work at Ground Zero.
The next year, FDNY docs determined he was suffering from asthma and other lung ailments and placed him on light duty. By 2003, he was out with his tax-free disability pension despite his attempts to stay on, he said.
"I have nothing to hide," Giuffrida told The Post from his Shark River, NJ, home. "The conditions that precluded me from being a firefighter in no way preclude me living an active life in order to preserve my health."


Giuffrida is the latest firefighter found drawing a disability pension while performing feats of strength and endurance.
The Post has reported that retired FDNY Lt. John McLaughlin competes in marathons and triathlons while collecting an $86,000 disability pension for lung disease.
The city's pension costs are expected to reach $7.6 billion this year -- up from $1.4 billion when Mayor Bloomberg took office in 2002. Next year, it's expected to hit $8.7 billion.
Giuffrida defended his post-retirement athletics and the punishing regimen that's needed to prepare for the almost no-holds-barred grappling matches.
"It is completely different than running into a building that is on fire with a smoke condition and toxins in the air," Giuffrida said.

The 6-foot, 197-pound Giuffrida took the Bronze in the 2010 North American Grappling Association World Championship this past April in Newark.
His banner year in the mixed-martial-arts world was in 2008, according to the Web site Modern Gladiator Fight Gear, the company that sponsors his amateur fight team.
That year, the "disabled" man won two different North American Grappling Association championships as well as a local championship.

Neighbors sang Giuffrida's praises.
"He's a super-great guy," said Laura Welsh, who recalled how he once chased a prowler from the block.
Giuffrida is still suffering -- either from his punishing bouts or lingering effects of 9/11, Welsh said.
 

Creasy Bear

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#2
Ugh... I can just imagine how many jabronis are pulling this scam... firefighters, EMTs, cops... I'll bet there are hundreds of them.
 

Ego

The Only Thing Bigger Than My Head
Feb 15, 2005
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#7
It took doctors to make the determination about such things. He might have snowed them some getting the PTSD diagnosis, but it is a lot different being in that smoke and flame on a regular basis than it is to do what he is now, and I imagine the doctors were totally erring on the side of caution. That pension is a bit ridiculous though. The city might be allowing that to take place in order to avoid the shitstorm that would have come with lawsuits if they had just let them go outright.

Still, if they're gonna pay him that, he should be doing something for a few more years. They should be on some kind of retainer to pull special duty, like equipment maintenance at his firehouse, cutting down walls to get fat fucks out of their houses when they die or need medical treatment, or doing the fire safety speeches at elementary schools so the other guys can work. Hell, if he was devoted to the cause, he could be donating his time to a volunteer fire company somewhere. They're always in need of people who know what they're doing.
 

jules

uppity taxpayer
Jul 24, 2005
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#8
imo- this guy is playing the system. i have zero proof, but from what i read, he found a steel lined out and took it. maybe there is more to the story, but i can only go on what ive read in this article.
real problem with this is that ther are ALOT of first responders who legitimately have health issues that pretty much make their lives hell, but they cant get anything even remotely close to what this guy has. thats not his fault, but it doesnt give him a pass.
 

Creasy Bear

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Another dipshit who did ground zero clean-up work without a respirator. And this is a NYC firefighter... not some Guatemalan day laborer. Not that I buy into his "lung disease" bullshit for two seconds.

Every bit of this is bullshit. There are a million things you can do as a firefighter that don't involve running into burning buildings.

Assholes like this guy are just pissing on the graves of the firefighters who died in the towers.

Fucking disgraceful.
 

BullsLawDan

She A Great Big Fat Person?
Feb 9, 2006
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#10
The Workers' Compensation system is filled with people like this. You want to know why it costs $100k to hire a $35K a year roofer? Workers' Comp scams. The laws in Comp are ridiculously tilted in favor of these clowns.
 

Motor Head

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Jan 23, 2006
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#11
I've seen police officer candidates at the academy with asthma inhalers. Maybe because of the smoke he can't work as a fireman due to the asthma. But having controlled asthma doesn't mean you can't be a police officer. From what I understand it does have to be very mild, and controlled though.
 
Dec 4, 2010
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#12
I've seen police officer candidates at the academy with asthma inhalers. Maybe because of the smoke he can't work as a fireman due to the asthma. But having controlled asthma doesn't mean you can't be a police officer. From what I understand it does have to be very mild, and controlled though.
Well I noticed you said "police officer candidates" and not "I've seen cops."
 

Creasy Bear

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#13
Both of this jindaloon's "ailments" are "because I say so" conditions.

It's easy enough for a doctor to give somebody a pulmonary function test to how well their lungs are functioning. And anybody who is competing in an MMA sport at a high and competent level... trust me, their lungs are working just fine. I guarantee you this scammer's health complaint isn't "I can't breathe"... I'll bet it's more along the lines of, "I get real coughy when I smell smoke... I really do... honest injun."

Same goes for the PTSD... it's a "take my word for it" condition. All you have to do is give the correct answers to some shrink's questions, and bingo, you got your comp case. Anybody willing to do a few hours of homework can find exactly the right answers to give during a PTSD evaluation.

PTSD. :icon_roll Ugh... what a fag. You stood on a rubble pile for a month, ya fucking drama queen. It's not like you did a tour in Iraq getting shot at and watching your friends get blown to bits by IEDs. Piss on those soldier's graves while you're at it, Baron Munchausen.
 

CousinDave

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Dec 11, 2007
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#14
The Workers' Compensation system is filled with people like this. You want to know why it costs $100k to hire a $35K a year roofer? Workers' Comp scams. The laws in Comp are ridiculously tilted in favor of these clowns.

There is a reason why most workers' comp cases are filed on a Monday
 

Motor Head

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Jan 23, 2006
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#16
Well I noticed you said "police officer candidates" and not "I've seen cops."
No, they do make it out of the academy. Of course this is the regular police academy for the state of Nebraska. The graduates out of there end up in rural towns and sheriff's departments. The hiring standards are pretty pedestrian. I saw a 400lb guy go through the academy in Grand Island that had been hired to be an officer in a town of 500 people. Nice guy, but I wouldn't count on him to have my back if I got into a foot pursuit and needed backup.
 

Josh_R

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Jan 29, 2005
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#17
No, they do make it out of the academy. Of course this is the regular police academy for the state of Nebraska. The graduates out of there end up in rural towns and sheriff's departments. The hiring standards are pretty pedestrian. I saw a 400lb guy go through the academy in Grand Island that had been hired to be an officer in a town of 500 people. Nice guy, but I wouldn't count on him to have my back if I got into a foot pursuit and needed backup.
How much do you want to bet that the guy who entered the force with asthma will get a disability rating when he leaves the force with the same case of asthma? I think the problem here is not that the guy is lying, it is that the union-approved medical review board is approving disability status for everything, and there is nothing anyone can do about it. Imagine what would happen if you were the one politician that proposed that maybe not all of the heroic and brave men and women of NY's fire and police department should get a disability check. It's one of those situations that is political suicide to attempt to fix.
 

lockjaaaaww

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Apr 26, 2008
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#18
Hopefully his next cage fight is in a thunderdome. That will teach him, two men will enter but only one will leave.
 

Sinn Fein

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#19
The Workers' Compensation system is filled with people like this. You want to know why it costs $100k to hire a $35K a year roofer? Workers' Comp scams. The laws in Comp are ridiculously tilted in favor of these clowns.
And it fucks things up for people who are legitimately incapacitated.
 

BIV

I'm Biv Dick Black, the Over Poster.
Apr 22, 2002
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#20
Update:
Former firefighter acquitted of fraud
E-mail| Print | Comments (12) 08/15/2011 8:35 PM

By David Abel , Globe Staff

After less than four hours deliberating, a federal jury today acquitted former Boston firefighter Albert Arroyo of fraud charges, which were brought after he engaged in bodybuilding competitions and other strenuous activity while on disability leave for work-related injuries.

The not guilty verdict on two counts of mail fraud shook Arroyo, who quivered with emotion, bowed his head, and burst into tears.

“We’re extremely gratified that the jury was able to consider all of the evidence and put aside the public outcry,” said Timothy Watkins, Arroyo’s attorney, after the verdict was read in US District Court in Boston. “The public didn’t know the facts. The system worked.”

Prosecutors walked out of the courtroom without commenting.

In a statement, US Attorney Carmen M. Ortiz said the verdict was a “disappointment.”

“Taxpayers expect an honest day’s work for a fair day’s pay from every public servant,” she said. “We will continue to investigate and prosecute allegations of these types of frauds.”

Before leaving the courtroom, Arroyo was showered with hugs by relatives, many of whom had spent the past week and a half watching the trial from the front row of the courtroom.

None would provide their names, but one said, “I feel good. It is what we hoped for and trusted would happen.”

Arroyo, who had been fired for refusing to return to work as a fire inspector after officials learned he was competing as a bodybuilder, left without commenting.

Officials at the Boston Fire Department also declined to comment. Officials in the union that represents city firefighters did not return calls.

Dot Joyce, a spokeswoman for Mayor Thomas M. Menino, said the verdict was “unfortunate.”

“Mr. Arroyo was terminated from the city of Boston,” she said. “He was terminated because the city of Boston contends he was able to do the duties assigned to him. He was ordered to return to work and refused. He no longer works for the city of Boston.”

After leaving the court, Watkins said he was not sure whether Arroyo would reapply for his job.

In her closing argument today, Assistant US Attorney Eugenia M. Carris told the jury that Arroyo knew how to abuse the system and used his knowledge of how to file false disability claims in a scheme to defraud the city.

But Watkins, a public defender, argued in his closing that prosecutors had failed to prove their “theory of calculated fraud and manipulation beyond a reasonable doubt.”

Carris had reminded jurors that Arroyo had complained his back problems were so bad he had trouble lifting a piece of paper. At the same time, she noted, he was working out twice a day, at times using dumbbells to squat more than 200 pounds.

“It’s like telling people at work that you can’t type because your fingers are bothering you, but you’re a concert pianist in your spare time,” Carris said in asking jurors to convict Arroyo.

In addition to asserting the government hadn’t proved its case, Watkins said, “Bodybuilding or not, Albert Arroyo had a good faith basis for filing the [disability] application.” He noted that the former firefighter had first sought treatment for on-the-job back injuries in 2000.

He added Arroyo lacked “the intent to deceive anyone, because he didn’t want to retire.”

Watkins also argued Arroyo’s disability claims would not have led to “a pot of gold.” Arroyo, 49, sought to collect an annual $65,000 tax-free pension.

“Accidental disability for someone Albert’s age is a prison,” Watkins said. “The cost of living goes up, and that’s it. He might make a little more money working at a 7-Eleven … Why is that worth concocting a scheme?”

He described Arroyo as “guileless” and insisted he relied on his supervisors, other fire department officials and union representatives to make his decision to apply for disability.

“He was told to do it, and that’s how Albert operates,” Watkins said. “This is not someone who calculates” or sought to “hoodwink the Boston Fire Department.”

But Carris argued Arroyo knew exactly what he was doing, and that he did his best to build a case to improve his odds of being granted disability retirement.

She noted he signed the disability application, which requires the information to be “true, complete, and accurate.”

“He claimed to be totally and completely disabled, while at the same time playing baseball and competing in professional bodybuilding competitions,” she told jurors, showing a picture of Arroyo shirtless, his muscles bulging as he held large dumbbells.

She described the evidence against him as “overwhelming.”

Carris said that after his injury in 2000, he was returned to full duty, but he was accommodated and given a relatively light job as an inspector in the fire prevention office. At a time before his 2008 injury, he had claimed to be in physical therapy when he was actually training for bodybuilding competitions, allowing him to leave work early twice a week, she said. She noted he said he couldn’t sit for longer than a half hour without back pain, while he made repeated trips to New York to buy vitamin supplements.

Finally, she said Arroyo gave inconsistent accounts of his March 2008 fall at a vacant firehouse in Jamaica Plain, the alleged injury he used to seek disability. She said he told some people he slipped while going down the stairs, while telling others he fell while going up the stairs.

“He needed something new to happen, the kind that gets you the most money and tax benefits,” she said.

She noted Arroyo, who testified in his defense over three days last week, seemed to forget many of the allegations against him.

“When there’s information that helps him, he owns it; when there’s information that hurts him, he can’t remember,” she told jurors.

She advised them not to be diverted by Watkins’ argument that Arroyo was pressured into filing for disability.

“As much as he wants to make this case about what someone else told him to do, or about the system, that’s not what this case is about,” she said. “It’s about this defendant trying to perpetrate a fraud.”

Arroyo had been a firefighter for two decades when he applied for accidental disability retirement. Six weeks later, he was caught on video flexing his muscles in a strenuous routine at a bodybuilding completion in Marlborough.

One other member of the fire department is facing charges in the pension abuse investigation. James Famolare, a former deputy chief of personnel accused of faking a career-ending injury is slated to go on trial in October.

Arroyo was facing up to 20 years in prison for each count of mail fraud.

Billy Baker of the Globe staff contributed to this report. David Abel of the Globe Staff can be reached at dabel@globe.com
http://www.boston.com/Boston/metrod...itted-fraud/FdBrHF5WagwNJdMvHXd3EI/index.html
 
Jan 9, 2006
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#21
Carris had reminded jurors that Arroyo had complained his back problems were so bad he had trouble lifting a piece of paper.
How is that even possible? How would he even be able to stand or write?
 

Ego

The Only Thing Bigger Than My Head
Feb 15, 2005
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#22
The MMA guy's claims sound more legitimate than the bodybuilder jerkoff. His retirement package is a bit ridiculous, but if he legitimately tried to stay on, and was told to leave anyway, he's more deserving of whatever it is that they felt was necessary to give him, even if it sound/looks like hush money to avoid a bigger lawsuit. Bodybuilder jerkoff can suck some firehouse dick. They wanted to give him an easy job he was fully capable of doing with the limitations he was deemed to have, and he shit on it. Fuck him and whatever he stands for.
 

Josh_R

Registered User
Jan 29, 2005
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#23
The MMA guy's claims sound more legitimate than the bodybuilder jerkoff.
I agree that the biggest problem in this case is not the MMA guy. He brought up legitimate medical issues to the review board, and the board ruled that he was too disabled to work. It said he tried to keep his job. I guarantee that the medical review board is approved by the firefighter's union, and that there are probably shitloads more guys with similar "disabilities" that didn't protest to keep their jobs.