In the Line of Duty
     Pursuant to the Baltimore City Code, Article 22, a hearing was conducted before the Panel of Hearing Examiners for the Fire and Police Employees Retirement System of Baltimore City to determine eligibility for Special Line of Duty disability retirement benefits. The medical file was submitted by the City of Baltimore to the Fire and Police Employees Retirement System of Baltimore City and presented, as the record before the Panel of Hearing Examiners for that administrative hearing. The Fire and Police Employees Retirement System of Baltimore City was represented by the Baltimore City Solicitor. I was represented by private counsel.
Denial of disability benefits, the first time...
     I was assigned to Truck Company 1, Oldtown Station, which covers the lower eastside business district in downtown Baltimore City. Truck Company 1 is consistently ranked among the busiest Truck Companies in Baltimore, responding to over 3,000 calls for service every year.
       At the conclusion of that administrative hearing, the hearing examiner ruled that I was disabled from the further performance of my duties, however, the hearing examiner failed to rule on the evidence presented in the record and made a critical error that did not support his findings of fact. I was awarded an Ordinary Disability pension, which is reflective of this injury not occurring in the Line of Duty and is significantly less than the Special Line of Duty Retirement Benefit, despite being qualified for the full Special Line of Duty Disability Retirement Benefit. I appealed the arbitrary and capricious determination, however, before the appeal could be heard by the Circuit Court, the City of Baltimore reinstated me to the full performance of my duties in January of 2001. ​​ The basis for th e appeal was that the hearing examiner abused his discretion by making a determination that was reached from utilizing evidence that was not a part of the record or transcript before the panel. On page 2 of Decision 1, the hearing examiner states,

The Incident
     On August 2, 1996, at approximately 5 P.M., a fire was reported in an office building in the 600 Block of N. Davis Street and a box assignment was “struck out” by the Communications Division of the Baltimore City Fire Department. A box assignment consists of 4 engine companies, 2 truck companies, a battalion chief, an air-flex, and medic unit. Engine companies bring water and hose, truck companies are equipped with the ladders and tools. Truck Company 1 arrived on the scene first and reported smoke showing from all floors of a 5-story building in the rear location. I, along with other members of Truck Company 1, put ground ladders in place and entered the building to search for any trapped occupants, to ventilate the structure, and to provide access to the seat of the fire for incoming engine companies. Upon entering the building, we encountered extremely dense smoke and intense heat. I made my way to the 5th floor stairwell, after performing a primary search of the rest of the building, and was about to enter that floor when I heard an engine company advancing a hose-line from the floor below to my location. This is typical of aggressive interior firefighting operations that are necessary to limit the fire from extending to adjoining structures. I utilized a ceiling hook to penetrate the ceiling and exposed the seat of the fire in that space. Due to a delay in getting the charged hose-line in place, the fire progressed very rapidly, as it was being exposed to more air and the area “flashed over”. A flashover occurs when the internal temperatures are sufficient enough to ignite the flammable gases that occur, as a result of the thermal layering of those gases in enclosed spaces. The force of the simultaneous combusting of those gases was enough to send me over a railing and down the stairwell to the first floor. I hit the ground with enough force that it caused the separation of components of my helmet to occur. The incident escalated to 5 alarms, which should sufficiently show the severity of the fire and the severity of the mechanism of the injury suffered. Despite the severity of the injury, my post-surgical recovery went remarkably well and I was able to return to the full performance of my duties within 3 months.

       "The claimant did injure his back lifting weights working out on May 8, 1999 when he was not working as a Firefighter, and his physical incapacity is not the result of an accident occurring while in the performance of duty at some definite time and place and without willful negligence on his part."

 see document     
       As evidence clearly shows, the injury the hearing examiner is referring to occurred not in 1999, as he states in his decision, but in 1997. There is no evidence contained in the evidence or any testimony provided that demonstrates that any injury occurred on May 8, 1999, as I was already off duty since March 23, 1999 with a recurrence of the injury that occurred while I was working. ​ I 
​co ntinued with the full performance of my duties until I experienced another episode of back pain that caused me to seek medical treatment again in June of 2002. It was found that the narrowing of the vertebral disc space that was evident in the occurrence of the original surgery had progressed to the point that surgical intervention would be required. It was again determined by the City of Baltimore that I would be retired due to the injury. Despite settled Maryland Law on the issue of the causation of work-related injuries, the City of Baltimore incorrectly classified this as a Non-Line of Duty injury. I grieved this erroneous determination with my Union representative. I was informed that the grievance was rejected due to my status reflecting that I was being medically disqualified from the further performance of my duties.

 see document     
Return to Duty
     On May 8, 1997, approximately 7 months after returning to duty , I experienced another episode of back pain. Out of an abundance of caution, with respect to the injury that occurred just prior to this, I sought the care of my doctor, who placed me off duty for 4 days due to what was diagnosed as a mild muscle strain. I continued with the full performance of my duties for 2 years after that until I suffered a recurrence of that injury and was deemed to be medically disqualified from the performance of my duties by the City of Baltimore in 1999, as a direct cause of the Line of Duty injury that occurred on Auguust2, 1996. ​​
Denial of disability benefits, the second time...
     I wa s again ordered to apply for Special Disability Retirement Benefits from the Fire and Police Employees Retirement System of Baltimore City and was determined to be “not disabled from the further performance of the duties of a firefighter” and all benefits were denied again by the same hearing examiner who issued the prior denial in error.

     An appeal to the Court was timely filed in this matter. The appeal was dismissed due to a lack of prosecution. Upon being notified of the dismissal, I requested of the Court to reopen the appeal, however, that request was denied. Rather than appeal that decision, I filed an action in the United States District Court for the District of Maryland, for discrimination against the City of Baltimore. The fraud that is alleged is detailed herein.

What happens when the City says you are done?
     As the policies of the Baltimore City Fire Department grants the Medical Director for the City full discretion over the duty status of any member returning to duty following a line of duty injury, members are ordered by the Chief of Fire Department to file an application for disability retirement benefits from the Fire and Police Employees Retirement System of Baltimore City. ​​
 see document     
 see document     
By: Brian Vaeth, Retired BCFD
​Truck Company #1
Putting It All on the Line & Losing Big...
not only withheld from the administrative hearing examiner, but other professionals involved his case, despite the fact that the City of Baltimore was paying the costs of the Vocational Rehabilitation program. This permits the Baltimore City Solicitor to fabricate the record as they need to in order to obtain a ruling that is favorable to them. This information was withheld from the hearing examiner for that exact purpose.

In the context of the broad tapestry of misconduct presented in this matter, there is perhaps nothing as primary and significant, as the manner in which the Baltimore City Solicitor’s office perpetrated their fraud and provided false and misleading testimony on the most fundamental aspects of it. In the following I intend to fully set forth those violations sufficiently enough to demonstrate that a long-standing pattern and practice of fraud is being committed by the Baltimore City Solicitor’s Office in the awarding of Line of Duty Retirement Disability Benefits from the Fire & Police Employees Retirement System of Baltimore City.

The City Solicitor continues:
“In his most recent report dated 7/8/03, Dr. Halikman notes that he is “disturbed by the FCE and prior documentation showed that the Claimant was “capable of a high level of physical activity” and was recovering well post-surgery of July, 2002. He concludes that he has questions regarding whether Claimant is disabled.”

The fraud perpetrated in this matter was comprised of numerous acts of misconduct. Although recklessness is all that need be shown to establish a fraud on the Court under the controlling authorities, the vast majority of the conduct here was clear, intentional, and willful. Together, the acts amounted to a pervasive fraud driven by the goal of prevailing at whatever the cost. The following selected examples discuss only some of the more egregious acts of fraud.

Article 22 of the Baltimore City Code was enacted for the purpose of providing retirement allowances and death benefits under the provisions of that subtitle for such officers and employees of the Department of Aviation, of the Police Department and of the Fire Department of Baltimore City. The City Solicitor of the City of Baltimore is the legal advisor of the Board of Trustees of the Fire and Police Employees Retirement System of Baltimore City. Firefighters who are disqualified from the further performance of their duties by the City of Baltimore are ordered to file an application with the Board of Trustees of the Fire and Police Employees Retirement System of Baltimore City. The Board of Trustees is responsible for conducting hearings on all matters involving non-line-of-duty disability claims, line-of-duty disability claims, 100% line-of-duty disability claims, line-of-duty death benefit claims, and any related matters arising out of these claims. One hearing examiner from the Panel of Hearing Examiners, provided for by the Board of Trustees of the Fire and Police Employees Retirement System of Baltimore City hears claims for benefits and conducts the hearings in an informal manner, with sufficient latitude to provide a fair and impartial hearing to all of the parties without requiring strict compliance with the rules of evidence. Testimony at the hearing is under oath and recorded. The hearing examiner has the power to subpoena and require the attendance of witnesses and the production of papers and documents to secure information pertinent to the hearing, and to examine them.

While the Baltimore City Code does not require a strict compliance with the rules of evidence, for matters before the Panel of Hearing Examiners, it does not effectively throw them out to allow the Baltimore City Solicitor to have complete control over the process or to disobey state law on the issue. Under the Administrative Procedures Act of the State of Maryland Subtitle 10-213 (b), it provides that the presiding officer may admit probative evidence that reasonable and prudent individuals commonly accept in the conduct of their affairs and give probative effect to that evidence. Probative evidence is that which has the effect of proof, tending to prove, or actually proves the elements of a case. It is obvious that the City Solicitor has taken full advantage of this rule and has used it to admit evidence that was totally irrelevant. It also does not allow the Baltimore City Solicitor to withhold probative evidence.

The record presented shows that not only was irrelevant material introduced to the hearing examiner, which can only be viewed as an attempt to convolute the record and cause confusion, while relevant and probative medical evidence was willfully withheld from inclusion. This includes virtually the entire incident that led to me to be medically disqualified a second time. This information was vital to being able to prevail at the hearing before the F&PERS. This information was excluded because it was favorable to my case and it was withheld purposely to ultimately deny retirement benefits.

Dr. Halikman is a doctor employed by the City of Baltimore to offer opinions on cases that involve an employee’s disability who are undergoing the retirement process, such as I underwent. It is obvious that evidence of my medical file, which held relevant and important information relating to this injury, was withheld from even Dr. Halikman. As for Dr. Halkiman’s uncertainty as to whether I was disabled, obviously, he is unaware that the medical director for the City of Baltimore made this determination under the standards found in NFPA 1582, relating to firefighters who are seriously injured in the Line of Duty and wish to return to duty. I, nor my treating physician, ever asserted that I was disabled.
In the next paragraph of the letter, the Baltimore City Solicitor opined that:

“Documentation in the medical brief and the Claimant’s testimony at the hearing reflecting his subjective complaints of physical inability resulting from pain must be discounted on account of his impeachment of his credibility from false statements he made in his 10/28/02 Application for Disability (Form 27EE) and during the 6/9/03 hearing held before you. On his Application, Claimant answers question 13(a) (“Date of injury occurred”) by listing his line of duty, within 5 years 3/23/99 accident as the cause of his herniated disc disability. When he first applied for line of duty disability retirement on 5/5/00, the Claimant listed his 8/2/96 injury as the cause of his herniated disc disability (which was within 5 years of that application) but not the 3/23/99 incident. Moreover, the Claimant answered “No” to question 13(f) (prior injuries) even though he has already applied for disability benefit for this injury and the medical brief is replete with documentation regarding multiple injuries to his back occurring on 8/2/96, 5/10/97, 3/23/99, 6/4/99, 2/3/00, 3/17/00, 9/15/01, and 6/7/02.

I originally injured my back on 8/2/96. I was subject to retirement in 2000 because of the injury and was denied benefits, as the hearing examiner determined that I had sufficiently recovered from that injury enough to return to work and perform my duties for a considerable time after that. There was evidence that a herniated disc, that was evident in the original occurrence had progressed but could not be the cause of my pain. It was found to be the scar tissue that had accumulated over the time since the first surgery and had to be considered a new injury rather than just a recurrence. If not, I could not have recovered sufficiently, as evidence shows I had the scar tissue accumulating the entire time, which all evidence to the contrary would then show that I had not recovered from that surgery.

In question 13(f) (prior injuries), I was simply reflecting that I suffered no other injury than the one I suffered in the Line of Duty before I entered the Baltimore City Fire Department. In both of these instances there is no attempt to be considered non-credible in my testimony before the hearing examiner. This is just another misrepresentation by the City Solicitor to stack the deck in the City of Baltimore’s favor.

There’s more:

The Bd. Of Trustees for the F&PERS...

The Fire and Police Employees Retirement System of Baltimore City had the responsibility of assembling the medical record on behalf of the City of Baltimore and submitting it to the Panel of Hearing Examiners. In the occurrence of the first hearing for retirement benefits, the hearing examiner erroneously used, as a rational basis to deny Special Line of Duty Retirement Benefits, an injury occurring on May 8, 1999, as the cause for my medically being disqualified from my duties. (THE RECORD, PAGE 10. ALSO SEE DECISION 1,) It was impossible for me to be working out with weights on May 8, 1999, when the record clearly shows that I was already placed off duty on March 23, 1999 for an injury associated with the Line of Duty that occurred on August 2, 1996, which required surgery. There is no evidence in the record of an incident occurring on May 8, 1999. As previously mentioned, this decision was appealed, due to the hearing examiner’s error, and I was reinstated to my duties. The City of Baltimore contends that I wasn’t happy with the hearing examiner’s decision and chose to return to my duties. This is simply not true and is a total misrepresentation of the facts knowingly for the direct purpose of confusing a finder of facts of those facts. The Baltimore City Solicitor knew of the decision of the Chief of Fire Department to reinstate me due to the error that was made and the appeal pending in the Court to address it due to the possible legal liability it posed to the City of Baltimore. The Hearing Examiner was obviously biased and was motivated to deny the rightful benefit also from returning me to the performance of my duties. In this instance he abused his discretion. That cannot be argued, the evidence is plain on its face.

After having problems someone typically has after suffering from an injury like this, and suffering further injury to the spinal column resulting from having such an invasive surgery, I again experienced pain on several occasions both in the Line of Duty and Non-Line of Duty in the location of the previous injury in 2002, which led to being deemed medically disqualified from the performance of my duties by the City of Baltimore a second time. I was ordered to apply for Special Disability Retirement Benefits from the Fire and Police Employees Retirement System of Baltimore City. A second hearing was conducted, in the same procedure as that aforementioned in the occurrence of the first proceeding before the same hearing examiner that made the erroneous determination in the first hearing. The City of Baltimore was represented by the Baltimore City Solicitor. I was not represented by counsel and was determined to be “not disabled from the further performance of the duties of a firefighter” and again denied Special Line of Duty Disability Retirement Benefits.

In the supplemental letter of counsel for the City of Baltimore, the Assistant Baltimore City Solicitor, offers a “closing statement” that set forth the City of Baltimore’s position in the matter. (EXHIBIT 6) Counsel for the City obfuscated from the truth at virtually every turn and did not base his opinion on evidence that was a part of the record. He inaccurately reasoned “that the I (Claimant) was ineligible for any retirement benefit at all.” His opinion is as follows:


“At his 6/9/03 hearing, Claimant was less then forthcoming in answering questions regarding whether he had, in fact, undergone an FCE. In response to counsel’s questioning, the Claimant stated that he had no yet taken the test, yet when pressed towards the end of the proceedings when he would be scheduling an FCE, the Claimant produced the FCE report from his briefcase. Indeed, you noted in your 9/17/00 decision awarding the Claimant an Ordinary Disability benefit but denying him a line of duty disability benefit that the Claimant’s testimony was not credible and was not consistent with the evidence in the medical record.”

As I testified before the hearing examiner, the FCE required for the purpose of the hearing for retirement disability benefits should have been scheduled by the medical director for the City of Baltimore before the “Cut-Off” date of employment with the City of Baltimore on 12/28/02, as mentioned by the City Solicitor, but it wasn’t. I had no obligation to do this or provide it. The question of it not being submitted to the hearing examiner was a question for the City of Baltimore, who was not required to be present at the hearing.

The hearing examiner could not have determined the credibility of my testimony, based on the medical records, as introduced by the City of Baltimore that have been proven to be incomplete and were withheld willfully by the Baltimore City Solicitor. The misrepresentations by the City Solicitor continued unabated despite my objections, even when there is absolutely no evidence to support any of their testimony:

“Perhaps more than any verbal or written statement that the Claimant made, his actions provide the greatest indictment of his trustworthiness. After asserting in his 5/5/00 line of duty disability application and at the hearing for such benefit that he was no longer able to work as a firefighter, the Claimant “miraculously” went back to work after being denied the more lucrative line of duty benefit. Now he decides that he no longer wants to work as a firefighter so he applies once more for a line of duty benefit. F&P need not accommodate the Claimant with a side income to subsidize his newly chosen career.”

Again, the City Solicitor takes the evidence and the entire hearing off the rails and into a realm of make believe. As aforementioned, Plaintiff did not “miraculously” return to work because he was not awarded the more lucrative line of duty benefit. Plaintiff was reinstated to his duties, as a result of an appeal that was filed challenging the decision of the hearing examiner. At no point did Plaintiff ever decide anything, as far as his ability to perform his duties. Plaintiff’s retirement was decided by the medical director for the City of Baltimore.

The entire letter that was submitted as part of the record by the Baltimore City Solicitor is a total fabrication of the facts and should not have been allowed to be introduced.

The high offices of the accused, the manner in which these allegations are presented, the gravity of those allegations, and the importance of the questions presented for review demands this manner of relief. Criminal misconduct by elected officials has become a recurring issue in Baltimore and the citizens, as well as municipal employees deserve and expect city officials to act in the public’s best interest. Yet contrary to this, we have been subjected to one story after another about corrupt officials using positions of influence to benefit only them, while diminishing the complaints of the people that make substantial contributions to the public health and welfare of the City. There have been countless allegations of this sort of conduct being demonstrated in the media, on postings on the internet, and complaints filed before agencies charged with investigating them, yet these occurrences rarely get the level of attention that is required to uncover the criminal conduct involved. There is a culture of corruption that trumps the rights of the citizen in Baltimore and as a result it has shaken the public’s trust in those government officials.

Timely and responsibly meeting the medical and basic living expenses of firefighters who are determined to be disabled after being injured in the Line of Duty, is not just a legal obligation but a moral one. An injury such as the one that I suffered should not result in medical conditions worsened by delay and denial of necessary benefits, nor should it leave the firefighter, or their family, financially destitute and emotionally battered. Those entrusted with maintaining the medical files related to injuries suffered in the performance of a firefighter's duties have a clear responsibility to do so, as provided for in the Baltimore City Code. In no way should the failure of officials within the City of Baltimore to properly maintain and submit the complete medical files of injured members to investigatory authorities create obstacles bound to worsen the physical and financial conditions of members of the department who have suffered debilitating injuries. Instead of carrying out these duties consistent with their legal and moral obligations, the Office of the Baltimore City Solicitor, legal counsel for the Mayor and City Council of Baltimore, routinely and improperly chooses to forward legally inconsistent arguments, withhold relevant evidence that they have in their possession, and fabricate evidence that they don't have, to unlawfully obtain a ruling from the courts that is favorable to them, so the wrongful denial of what is ultimately the City of Baltimore's obligation to the members of the Fire & Police Employees Retirement System can continue. The lack of responsible oversight allows the Baltimore City Solicitor’s long-standing pattern and practice of disability discrimination to continue at their will.

This action follows over a decade of extraordinary efforts to hold accountable for their corrupt practices Baltimore City officials and presents allegations of fraud perpetrated by those officials with the intent of preventing the judicial process from functioning in its usual manner that involves violations of laws, so fundamental to the administration of fair justice that it undermines the workings of the adversary process itself. More importantly, newly discovered evidence that I did not, and could not otherwise have access to prior to the present time, will show that it is about far more than an injury to a single litigant. It is about a wrong against the institutions set up to protect and safeguard the public, institutions in which fraud cannot complacently be tolerated being inconsistent with the good order of society. The assessment of this request should include the conduct addressed in it that is focused on governmental actors, who are required to operate under a higher standard of care in light of the power they hold in our society. When they fail to do so, it puts everyone at risk. Here, the Baltimore City Solicitor's Office has abandoned this fundamental objective and also any effort to observe the constitutional rights of the citizens of Baltimore. Instead, they go all in to win at any cost to the detriment of the very system of fair and equal justice these appointed attorneys for the City of Baltimore swear an oath to uphold. The actions of those accused threatens not only the judicial process but also all citizens who are exposed to litigating matters before the court.

“Claimant’s Cut-Off Ticket indicates “Retired” rather than “Dismissed” for medical reasons. Claimant’s physician, Dr. John Rybock, as recently as 9/20/02, reported that Claimant recovered from his 8/23/02 operation sufficiently to ‘be anxious to return to work…Claimant is not eligible for, nor entitled to receive, an Ordinary Disability Retirement Benefit pursuant to Section 34 (c) of Article 22 of the Baltimore City Code. (2000 Revised Edition) The medical brief indicates that Claimant was and is capable of performance of duties, as a firefighter but chose not to continue with his career.”

This assertion is absolutely false and the misrepresentation of this fact is done knowingly and willingly by the City Solicitor. I was determined to be medically disqualified using the physical standards for firefighters, as prescribed in NFPA 1582 Section Spine Structural Abnormality, Fracture, or Dislocation. These policies and standards were accepted by the Baltimore City Fire Department and utilized by the City of Baltimore to deny me from continuing the further performance of my duties. If the entire medical record would have been introduced, and the probative evidence given the weight required by law, it would demonstrate that I was ready to return to duty, as I had felt as though I recovered sufficiently to return to my duties in the abbreviated time allowed due to the incorrect classification of this injury being a Non-Line of Duty occurrence by the City of Baltimore. I reported this to my doctor who noted that “Brian is anxious to return to work, so I think it is appropriate to do so.” I then reported to the medical clinic for the City of Baltimore and informed Dr. Lyons that Dr. Rybock was preparing to release me to duty. Dr. Lyons then consulted with the medical director for the City, Dr. James Levy, who determined that I was to be medically disqualified. I reported this to my doctor who noted in his next report the fact that I was being retired.

The hearing examiner, upon the occurrence of the hearing, asked if a Functional Capacity Examination, or an FCE, was performed in association with the determination of the City to medically disqualify me from the further performance of my duties. An FCE was not submitted because the City of Baltimore never scheduled me to be examined prior to my Cut-Off date of December 28, 2002. An FCE was conducted in March of 2003, as part of the Vocational Rehabilitation process. I offered that an FCE was conducted, but well after the Cut-Off date and was inappropriate to utilize at the hearing, as evidence shows that I was awaiting to have a further surgery for the injury at the time the FCE was conducted and the City failed to submit any evidence related to it to the hearing examiner.

The City Solicitor goes on to say that:

“The FCE reports that the Claimant self-limited his exertion during the evaluation: Extremity strength was self-limited with cog-wheeling behaviors for all muscle groups supporting lack of consistent effort.”

As I was awaiting the extensive spinal reconstructive surgery which took place in October of 2003, it is inconceivable that anyone could demonstrate anything other than self-limiting behavior in an examination to test his capacity to perform work just prior to surgery. As is reflected in the letter, “the FCE occurred 3/11/03,” well after the “Cut-Off” date of 12/28/02. As this FCE was conducted for the purpose of the Vocational Rehabilitation plan, to assess my physical ability to do work, the representatives who performed this examination were not aware of the fact that I was awaiting to have surgery at the time of that examination.

I was still subjected to the administrative hearing process, despite being under medical care, as I was recovering from extensive spinal surgery that included the fusing of the vertebral discs that were affected.This evidence was 

In the United States District Court...
Case Number RDB-08-708​​

Despite the fact that this injury was suffered in the Line of Duty, and the policies that governed how injuries were assessed under the NFPA’s physical standards adopted by the Baltimore City Fire Department, the hearing examiner ruled that I was not disabled from the performance of my duties. Upon the release from my doctor’s care for the surgery, as is reflected in Biscoe v. Baltimore Police Department (citation omitted) I requested to be reinstated to my position, as a firefighter in the City of Baltimore, of which the City denied. I then began the process of disputing the determination of the City to deny me of the ability to return to my duties due to employment discrimination with the EEOC. After waiting a period of time for a “Right to Sue” letter from the EEOC but not receiving it, I made a request to them to issue it. This request was granted and I filed suit in the United States District Court for Maryland.

The complaint was originally filed in December of 2007 in the Baltimore City Circuit Court, but was removed to the United States District Court in March of 2008. The complaint that I filed recited a short and plain statement of the claim showing that I was entitled to relief. In response, a Motion to Dismiss was filed by the City of Baltimore. I attempted to comply with the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure in the attempt to obtain evidence that was contained in my employment file that was withheld by the City Solicitor in the proceeding before the administrative hearing examiner. The Baltimore City Solicitor denied this request and informed me that I would need to file a Freedom of Information Act request in order to get it.

The City of Baltimore submitted an affidavit with the Motion to Dismiss which was completed by the Division Chief of Administration. It demonstrated that he was “competent to swear oaths and give testimony in a court of law”, and that he had “personal knowledge of the matter” and was “competent to testify” to those matters.The Division Chief of Administration, who should be well versed in matters of employment policies of the members under their command, asserted that “Pursuant to Civil Service Rule 57, an employee who has reason to believe that his removal is without just cause…shall file with the Commission within 5 days after the receipt of an order of removal, a removal, a request in writing that the Commission investigate his or her removal and shall contain a statement that he believes that the removal was without just cause as required in the Civil Service Commission Rules… After a diligent search, BCFD can locate no notice of a request to investigate a removal without just cause on behalf of Brian Charles Vaeth to the Baltimore City Civil Service Commission.” The affidavit concluded by stating that:

The Division Chief’s signature then appears immediately thereafter. (EXHIBIT 7)

This affidavit was fraudulent and, more importantly, was accommodated by the willingness of Baltimore City Solicitor to allow that fraud to thoroughly invade the litigation and support their effort to prevail against the me despite the injury to the reputation of the judicial system that has resulted. The case was dismissed due to the sworn statements contained in that affidavit and was fraudulent for the following reasons:

The Medical Director for the City has final discretion over the duty status of all m
embers of the Baltimore City Fire Department.

As stated in the foregoing, the City of Baltimore adopted the standards of the National Fire Protection Agency for the Baltimore City Fire Department. These standards also included the physical standards adopted regarding injuries suffered by members which would affect their job performance. The decision to disqualify me from duty was made by the Medical Director for the Baltimore City Fire Department by using the standards adopted from the NFPA due to the number of surgeries I had related to this injury. When the Medical Director basis his findings on a medically related issue, as the medical expert for the City of Baltimore, he has the final discretion over the duty status of the members and not even the Mayor can override that determination. The Civil Service Rules then become inapplicable to members of the Baltimore City Fire Department. To assert that I did not follow the prescribed rules, to file a complaint that no action would be taken on, was just another successful attempt to obfuscate from the truth and prevail no matter what by the Baltimore City Solicitor. The true facts in this matter did not even matter to the Baltimore City Solicitor, as they have shown that they are willing to make it all up as they go along and misrepresent the facts to suit their needs.

Much of the United States District Court’s opinion focused on findings that the underlying reason I could not proceed was that the court lacked jurisdiction to grant the relief requested because I could not prove that I exhausted the administrative remedies by filing a dispute with the City over the adverse employment action in a timely manner. I absolutely complied with the procedures associated with filing a dispute over this adverse employment practice. I contacted my Union representative and requested to grieve the incorrect determination of it being a Non-Line of Duty injury. This information, which is part of my employment and medical file that is in the control of the City of Baltimore, was also withheld from the hearing examiner. This would sufficiently demonstrate that a dispute with the adverse employment decision was filed, however, due to the determination being made that I was being medically disqualified under the NFPA standards, the decision would not be overturned. The process prescribes that once that determination is made by the City of Baltimore, more specifically, by the medical expert for the City the Medical Director of PSI, the member must file an application for retirement benefits from the Fire & Police Employees Retirement System of Baltimore City. If the member is aggrieved by the determination of a hearing examiner, the only avenue of relief is to file an appeal for review of the administrative decision to the Circuit Court for Baltimore City. I filed the appeal in a timely manner and immediately thereafter, had surgery to fuse my spine. As I was recovering from the extensive spinal surgery, I could not effectively prosecute the appeal in a timely manner and it was dismissed. While the Court contends that notice was sent, I never received it. I was made aware of the dismissal and immediately petitioned the Court to reopen the appeal. Support for this request was demonstrated by the fact that I was under a medical disability, as anyone would who just had surgery on their spine, and could not have possibly pursued the litigation, as I was representing myself in the matter. The Circuit Court denied that request.

The fraud is supported in the realm of the Federal Court...

The requisite fraud on the court occurs where “it can be demonstrated, clearly and convincingly, that a party has sentiently set in motion some unconscionable scheme calculated to interfere with the judicial system’s ability impartially to adjudicate a matter by improperly influencing the trier of fact or unfairly hampering the presentation of the opposing party’s claim or defense.” Aoude v. Mobil Oil Corp., 892 F.2d 1115, 1118 (1st Cir.1989). I reported the allegations of the Baltimore City Solicitor’s misconduct at a hearing before the United States District Court in a Motion to Compel Discovery, due to the Baltimore City Solicitor’s refusal to provide it, and that the affidavit submitted by the Baltimore City Solicitor was manufactured. In the transcript from that hearing the City Solicitor makes several misrepresentations that only furthered their fraud, or at the very least, sufficiently support the allegations made herein. Beginning on page 8, the City Solicitor alleged that I did not file timely complaints to various agencies in an effort to exhaust the administrative remedies available prior to filing the action in the court. As aforementioned, Civil Service Rule 57 requires that if a dispute with an adverse employment action exists, an employee must file it with the Civil Service Commission within 5 days of the date of that action. This is not applicable in cases where firefighters are disqualified from the performance of their duties due to suffering a disability. The fact that the medical director for the City of Baltimore has the final discretion over the duty status of members returning from duty after suffering Line of Duty injuries renders that process moot, as the medical expert for the Civil Service Commission, a Baltimore City agency, is also the medical director for the City of Baltimore.

In the transcript, beginning on page 9, the City Solicitor states:

THE COURT: “Well, let me dispose of the MD Declaration of Rights claim under Article 24. That’s the easiest one to get rid of because in the State of Maryland when these claims arose, there was no private right of action. So, first of all, he did not register his complaint with any fair employment practice agency, whether state or federal or local and even had he done so, he would not have the authority to proceed on his own under that statute. There does now exist that right. But there didn’t at the time when these occurrences took place.”

This allegation is false and demonstrates the intent of the Baltimore City Solicitor to restrict me from being able to properly present my case. I absolutely did file complaints with many agencies of the City of Baltimore.

I was deemed to be medically disqualified due to an injury that was suffered in the Line of Duty. As the above process that is prescribed by Civil Service Commission Rule 57 is not applicable in this case, as sufficiently supported in the aforementioned, a member can only file an application for retirement benefits. If the member is aggrieved with the determination of the hearing examiner, an appeal to the Circuit Court is the only appropriate avenue of relief that a firefighter can pursue. As stated, I had undergone surgery to fuse the spine and could not properly pursue the appeal because I was actively recovering from the surgery and was representing myself in the appeal. The adverse employment action cannot occur until the appeal is decided by the court.

The City Solicitor continues to assert that: (line 17, page 9)

MS. WILLIS: “With reference to the procedural due process and equal protection claim, again just as with the ADA claims, Rehabilitation Act claim, the Fair Employment Practices claim, the contract violation, there is an obligation under the Fourteenth Amendment that there is at least an effort by the aggrieved party to try to gain relief, not just go to federal court. There were many opportunities for Mr. Vaeth both through his employment with the City and through his relationships with the police and fire pension retirement system. He chose not to exercise any of those rights and then sat on those rights for depending on how you look at it, from five to sixteen years. And his initial complaint is that he was injured in the line of duty 1996. If we go back that far, we would never be allowed to argue that somebody had not exhausted their administrative remedies or they had not been sitting on their rights.”
THE COURT: “Also, with respect to - - there’s still an exhaustion requirement even as to wrongful termination under Maryland Law?”
MS. WILLIS: “Not so much under Maryland Law. He’s classified as a breach of contract violation. And I interpreted that to mean that what he meant was that there was a violation of the contract that his Union has with the City of Baltimore. It wasn’t a wrongful termination claim. I am just making an analogy that way. Under the contract he had with the City of Baltimore, that his Union had with the City of Baltimore, he was obligated within 5 days of the time that he knew he was being terminated to make a claim with his union and they were supposed to carry that forward. He never made that claim. Again, I’ve done an exhaustive search and was not able to encounter any evidence that he made that claim.”
THE COURT: “Was there ever an appeal of any of these administrative decisions to the Circuit Court for Baltimore City?”
MS. WILLIS: “There was an appeal made for the first request for disability retirement where disability retirement was granted but not for the special line of duty disability. It was granted for non-line of duty disability and Mr. Vaeth for whatever reason while he filed an appeal, he never pursued it and it was withdrawn. The second time around he also made an effort to file an appeal. This would have been the 2003 decision and he never acted on it and it was withdrawn by the court for non-process.”
THE COURT: “And with respect to the Maryland Fair Employment Practices Act claim, you have specifically noted that it must be filed within 6 months of the occurrence alleged.”
MS. WILLIS: “Yes.”

The City Solicitor’s assertion that there was a mysterious process that firefighters have to follow when they are determined to be medically disqualified from the performance of their duties by the City’s medical director is absurd, since not even the firefighter’s personal doctor can override that determination. I did file a grievance with my union representative in a timely manner over the issue of it being deemed a Non-Line of Duty injury, but despite the exhaustive searches conducted two individuals with demonstrated knowledge of employment practices, the City Solicitor who as a lawyer for the Mayor would be fundamental to the duties of that office and the Division Chief of Administration and Support for the Baltimore City Department, who would have to demonstrate knowledge of employment matters related to firefighters, evidence of this could not be found. It appears that those exhaustive searches never included contacting my union to ascertain this fact. I tried to obtain all of the evidence required to overcome this but was refused by the City Solicitor.

The City Solicitor then refers to this as if it was a “wrongful termination” claim and goes on to assert that a dispute had to exist, when no dispute could exist until a determination was made by the hearing examiner. The only individual that can overturn the determination of the medical director for the City of Baltimore is the hearing examiner and if necessary, the court. To characterize this process as something that was required can only be seen as a way for the City of Baltimore to create obstacles for firefighters who are disabled from the performance of their duties and is absurd. When I filed the grievance to dispute the incorrect classification of this as a Non-Line of Duty injury, my union representative explained that the action was being taken due to the NFPA standards disqualifying me from my duties for the number of surgeries performed. It was further explained that the next injury that could occur would be catastrophic, as my physical health relating to my back had been compromised by not only the surgeries but the infection, as well. As the action was being taken legally, with regard for my future health, there was no dispute until the abuse of discretion demonstrated by the hearing examiner that denied benefits. A “termination” would indicate that a violation of the rules regarding my employment had occurred that was my fault. There is no evidence of this occurring, so it must be, as the City Solicitor points out, a breach of the Mayor and City Council’s obligations under Article 22 of the Baltimore City Code, which is the provision that establishes a member’s contractual property right to their appointed position. This property cannot be taken away except by due process of law. If it was a “termination” matter, I was never afforded the pre-termination and termination hearings, as mandated by law. This only further demonstrates that due process rights are not upheld by the City of Baltimore.

I was ruled to be not disabled from my duties by the hearing examiner. While this decision is contradictory to the NFPA standards the medical director utilized it to disqualify me from the further performance of my duties, I demanded that he be returned to my position, as a firefighter for the City of Baltimore, with all seniority in-tact. I made this request to the representative of the Vocational Rehabilitation contractor that was assessing my ability to be employed outside 

​​of the fire department. As the hearing examiner’s determination was that I was not disabled from the performance of my duties, and it has not been disturbed upon any appeal to this date, there is nothing that denies me from my contractual right to my position, as is reflected in Article 22 of the Baltimore City Code. For the City to characterize the appeal in the first occurrence to not be pursued and withdrawn, as if no action by the City was taken on it, is a fabrication of the truth that is well known by the City Solicitor. I was reinstated to my duties by the Acting Chief of the Fire Department in response to the appeal filed challenging the hearing examiner’s decision. When I was reinstated, as I did not want to be retired in the first place and never asked for it, the appeal was settled and there was no need to pursue it.

In the second occurrence of the question of an appeal being filed, rather than be factual and relate to the court that I was undergoing extensive spinal reconstruction surgery at the time, the City Solicitor just says that I made an effort but it was withdrawn for non-process. The Office of the City Solicitor was responsible for paying all bills for not only the doctors but the Vocational Rehabilitation professionals that were assessing my ability to be re-employed at the time. They seem bewildered, as to why the appeal was dismissed but knew the I was under a medical disability at the time. When questioned by the Court about the occurrence of the second appeal, the City Solicitor again misrepresents the cause for its withdrawal. The following exchange occurs before the US District Court: (page 21, line 16)

THE COURT: “Well, in terms of the due process and equal protections claims under the Fourteenth Amendment and the Maryland Declaration of Rights claims, again the law indicates that you are to, you must exhaust administrative remedies first. And apparently, you’ve never filed suit in the Circuit Court for Baltimore City to appeal the administrative decision within thirty days. Is that right?”
MR. VAETH: “I’m sorry?”
THE COURT: “Did you ever timely file an appeal of benefits - - I know that your benefits were denied in 2000 and 2003 after a hearing. And you took an appeal to the panel of hearing examiners. But you never filed the procedure of going to the Circuit Court for Baltimore City directly, did you?”
MR. VAETH: “Yes, sir.”
THE COURT: “I don’t think that you did, did you?”
MR. VAETH: “Yes, sir. I did. I filed an appeal for the first opinion - -  excuse me your Honor.”
THE COURT: “Take your time.”
MR. VAETH: “On the first opinion, I file[d] an appeal on October 16th of 2000. And then on the last claim, the second time I filed it on September the 29th of 2003.”
THE COURT: “But did you ever appeal an administrative decision to the Circuit Court for Baltimore City?”
MR. VAETH: “Yes, sir. That last one. October the 29th – I mean September the 29th decision, your Honor.”
THE COURT: “And you sought judicial review at that time?”
MR. VAETH: “Yes, sir. I have that right here. Your Honor, I’m very sorry.”
THE COURT: “That’s alright. Take your time. See, the issue clearly is, Mr. Vaeth, to timely, first of all, timely file and exhaust your administrative remedies and then timely file a review of denial in the Circuit Court for Baltimore City. Before what judge did you appear in the Circuit Court for Baltimore City?”
MR. VAETH: “I didn’t get to the judge, Your Honor. It was dismissed.”
THE COURT: “It was dismissed because of lack of timeliness. Is that right, Ms. Willis? Is that the basis of it?”
MS. WILLIS: “Yes, sir. It is my understanding.”
THE COURT: “All right, I think that is what I understand it to be. My point is that a state judge on these claims earlier determined that you hadn’t timely filed with that court?”
MR. VAETH: “No, your Honor. He said it was for lack of prosecution. That after the appeal was filed that I hadn’t prosecute[d] it. But I was under a legal disability I thought because I am representing myself in these matters. I never was able to get counsel. So while waiting for that appeal to be heard, I will still subject to have - -  as a matter of fact when that appeal was scheduled to be heard, I had to enter a refusal, file a refusal because of my back on October 15th. The appeal was filed on September 29th. And I went through the treatment process with that. So I wouldn’t have been able to pursue a claim even then. As a matter of fact during that time, I thought it was stayed while I was undergoing surgery and the treatment --.”

The appeal was not dismissed due to it being untimely, as the City Solicitor asserts and goes on the record to provide testimony that it was dismissed for that reason. If the complete medical record and probative evidence was properly introduced by the City Solicitor, that evidence would show that while the appeal was pending, I underwent extensive spinal reconstruction surgery to fuse spinal vertebrae. This is a willful misrepresentation of the facts by the City Solicitor again.

On the next page, the transcript continues. (line 6)

THE COURT: “Well, you mention that your union representative, I mean, that’s part of what you’re to get out of your union membership, isn’t it? I mean, you have a shop steward or someone who essentially assists you in representing these claims because that’s done in most unions, is it not?”
MR. VAETH: “I would have to bring in the person that testified about the grievance that would even be able to say that I brought the grievance to them to have it looked at.”
THE COURT: “I am not disputing that. I am assuming for sake of argument in terms of how I analyze this under Rule 12(b)(6), I am assuming that what you’re saying is absolutely true. That I am accepting that you contacted your union representative, but for whatever reason it doesn’t appear that the union carried your flag, so to speak. That’s essentially what happened, isn’t it?”
MR. VAETH: “Right, well they said they approached the City and the City denied it.”
THE COURT: “But the union didn’t do any more about it?”
MR. VAETH: “Didn’t do anything else.”
THE COURT: “Apparently, the union on your behalf did not follow the administrative procedures - -.”
MR. VAETH: “No, they didn’t.”

When I filed the grievance to dispute the incorrect classification of this as a Non-Line of Duty injury, my union representative explained that the action was being taken due to the NFPA standards disqualifying me from my duties for the number of surgeries performed.

The Court demonstrated a bias towards the Baltimore City Solicitor, as shown when the misconduct was alleged in open court. (page 40, line 18):

THE COURT: “No, I really don’t need to. But I would urge that it certainly seems to me that the and I hold your office in very high regard. Mr. Nilson is now the City Solicitor, correct?”
MS. WILLIS: “Yes, sir.”
THE COURT: “George Nilson. I’ve known Mr. Nilson for years and he is a high-quality individual and I know that his conduct is consistent with the high standards of the City Solicitor’s Office for many years. It’s a very highly respected office and it would seem that to me that even in the wake of a legal victory in federal court which you’ll obviously be getting in the next few days as a result of my written opinion, that somebody ought to follow up with this in terms of fairness and equities, I can only suggest that someone needs to follow up and try to see if they can address Mr. Vaeth’s concerns in another context. You know, the fact that the City prevails in terms of this federal cause of action. I would just urge someone to – in the City government I know can be responsive to these kinds of things and it’s frustrating when you see a citizen whose involved in public service, be it the police, the fire department, or whatever, feeling like they haven’t been treated fairly and I think it’s a bit frustrating, even though you’re certainly right as a matter of law on these matters, Ms. Willis, and it’s very clear in the terms of the limitations period. That’s not to suggest that you haven’t been fair. Again, I’m not judging on the merits. It would seem to me that I believe it’s Chief Goodwin. Is he still Chief of police for Baltimore City?”
MS. WILLIS: “No, and that’s another problem with this case, sir, is Frederick McGrath (the hearing examiner for the Fire and Police Employees Retirement System of Baltimore City) we no longer have contact with him.”
THE COURT: “Yeah…”
“And there have been meetings with the City Solicitor, with the Office of the Mayor, with the President of the City Council, with the new police chief. So, I would just like to say and this is completely off the record that there have been --.”
THE COURT: “All right.”
MS. WILLIS: “—extensive, extensive efforts to accommodate Mr. Vaeth.”
THE COURT: “Okay. Well I hope that somehow this matter can be worked out. But the simple fact is that there’s not a federal cause of action here on these claims and the points and the points the City Solicitor has raised in terms of the lack of timeliness are valid issues and under the law., for the reasons I am going to state in more detail, Mr. Vaeth, in a written opinion, I’ll treat this as a motion to dismiss for failure to state a claim upon which relief can be granted. But with that, I would have made sure that we had almost an hour hearing to give you an opportunity to express your frustration. So, with that this court stands in recess and I’ll be issuing an opinion in the next few days. Certainly, by the middle of next week at the latest and this court stands in recess until 3:30.”
With that exchange with the court, the Baltimore City Solicitor asserted that, “And there have been meetings with the City Solicitor, with the Office of the Mayor, with the President of the City Council, with the new police chief. So, I would just like to say and this is completely off the record that there have been extensive, extensive efforts to accommodate Mr. Vaeth.” All evidence is to the contrary. At no time was an accommodation even attempted. However, the Baltimore City Solicitor was permitted to utter this misrepresentation and it was accepted by the court without even as much as any evidence to support that assertion whatsoever.

I would like to take this opportunity to demonstrate the “extensive, extensive efforts to accommodate Mr. Vaeth”, as the City Solicitor believes those efforts to be, paying particular attention to the accommodation that was made and is shown in, wherein the Chief was instructed to fire Plaintiff upon the occurrence of his reinstatement in 2001. (EXHIBIT 9) When this evidence was brought forth, the City Solicitor explained that former Chief Goodwin was fired and his credibility was in question. When Chief Goodwin announced his retirement from the department, he disclosed that it was due to the illness of a family member.

Evidence that is in the City of Baltimore’s control, in the form of his employment file, would show that Plaintiff requested that if he was to be disqualified from the further performance of his duties by the medical director under the standards adopted by the City of Baltimore, that he be assigned to a non-suppression function in the Air Mask Repair Division, as an open spot was pending due to another member’s retirement. All attempts to accommodate this request were being considered by the City of Baltimore until the decision of the hearing examiner. At that point, all requests for accommodation were denied.

I requested that an investigation into the matter be conducted by the Mayor’s Office for Constituent Services of the City of Baltimore. (EXHIBIT 10) That request was denied by the Baltimore City Solicitor, despite the finding that I was improperly terminated by the Mayor’s Office.

Despite this, many firefighters who have suffered the same fate as I did were accommodated and were afforded the ability to maintain their service for retirement purposes by being placed in light duty positions. This would allow them to remain in the employment of the City, maintain their membership in the retirement system, and work until they reach the service requirement to be eligible for a pension. They have obviously confused themselves with a case involving another member of the fire department and not that of Plaintiff. The assignment of firefighters to these light duty positions are done based upon favoritism and not reflective of the requirements of the Americans With Disabilities Act.

I was so diligently being accommodated that an email I received from the Chief of the Baltimore City Fire Department, Mr. William Goodwin, was very telling, as to the true level of cooperation demonstrated by the Baltimore City Solicitor’s Office. Upon my reinstatement after the disputed findings of the first retirement hearing, the Chief shows that he was told to "get rid" of me. I was subject to retraining at the Baltimore City Fire Academy and had passed all aspects of that training required to be reassigned to my original duty status. Chief Goodwin demonstrated that he would not violate the law and he recommended that I be reassigne to duty despite this.

When I was ruled by the hearing examiner to not be disabled from my duties, I should have been reinstated, under the law, but was not. Since I was not disabled, as the hearing examiner ruled and that determination is presumptively correct if not disturbed upon appeal, which it has not been, the City of Baltimore would not have any other justification for restricting my right to continue with the performance of my duties.I have attempted to file criminal charges due to the fraud that was perpetrated on the Court, as there is no civil relief for it available under the law.

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The Aftermath...
Living with Nothing 
These companies had an interest in reducing the numbers of suspected "A" time abusers, as they had to demonstrate that they could be successful at the objective of the Mayors "Return to Work" initiative before the City would award those companies contracts to perform those services in 2002. [2]

Another report by the Baltimore Sun on December 17, 2002, demonstrated that Comp Management made a mistake that created pay delays for City employees who were receiving Workers Compensation benefits. An AFSCME (American Federation of State and County Municipal Employees) said that his office received hundreds of complaints about missing checks, workers being forced back to work before they are treated and other problems since Comp Management and PSI were hired to save money. Mercy Hospital received $2 million dollars and Comp Management received $4 million dollars for those contracts as part of a plan to cut 42 City employees and close a City run health clinic for employees. The deal has been a nightmare, according to a City official. Mayor Martin O'Malley stated that, “These sort of growing pains and operational glitches are inevitable whenever you make a change. We will resolve the issues." [3] This case clearly demonstrates that those issues were not resolved.

As aforementioned, the scheme began after former Mayor Martin O'Malley's Chief of Staff, Michael Enright, made a surprise visit to the office that handled workers' compensation claims for city and school employees. In the article, it was reported that, "Most of the workers were missing, at lunch Michael R. Enright was told, although the hour was 2 p.m. There was paper everywhere," Enright said, "piled on desks and crammed into shelves, defying any organized filing system." And near the entrance hung a picture of the Mayor, former Mayor Kurt L. Schmoke, that is. [4]  Essential documents relating to Firefighter Vaeth's injury were in the custody of that office, because the claim was still open and the remainder of the closed file was in the custody of Comp Management for management of employee injury related incidents. The lack of supervisory control of the chain of custody of these records caused this information to be withheld from the hearing examiner and subsequently caused the misconduct to be perpetrated on the Court, as the incomplete medical record was introduced as evidence in this matter. The City Solicitor's Office, in concert with the F&PERS, sought to conceal this information rather than comply with the law regarding the submission of evidence and perpetrated a fraud on the court to cover up their incompetence and to further their fraud on the Court. Had the City Solicitor complied with the law, as an officer of the court is required to, the unlawful concealment would not have occurred and Firefighter Vaeth would not be seeking justice in such an extraordinary manner. He has asked for, on numerous occasions, the results of investigations that have been performed by any City agency upon the conclusion of the hearing before the F&PERS, which is mandated by the Baltimore City Code to ensure that fairness was upheld in the proceeding before the board, commission, or agency in which was before them or any other investigation undertaken, as a result. None of these request have been honored to this date. It can logically be assumed that the City Solicitor's fraud has infected any investigation that has been completed that involved obtaining any evidence from the City of Baltimore. As of this date, this information has not been provided to Firefighter Vaeth. As a result of the fraud, he has actively sought the assistance of the Maryland State's Attorney, the Maryland Attorney General, the FBI, and the US Department of Justice but has been refused without an investigation being performed.

     The only true investigation that ever occurred in relation to this claim was completed by Mrs. Cassandra Stewart, Director of Constituent Services for the Mayor of Baltimore City, Stephanie Rawlings Blake. In it she found that Firefighter Vaeth's rights were violated and she requested that he be reinstated to his duties by the Chief of Fire Department, who was then informed by the City Solicito's Office that he could not reinstate Firefighter Vaeth because he had a lawsuit filed against them. A copy of that email is also included in the evidence.

Newspaper articles that were published in the Baltimore Sun during the times relevant herein demonstrate the true motive and the intent of then Mayor of Baltimore City Martin O'Malley to "crackdown" on the abuse of injury leave time, or "A" time, by City employees. The Mayor began what was called the "Return to Work" initiative and it resulted in a 30% to 60% decline in "A" time abuses. City employees injuries were being investigated and for the first time, in 2000, they began keeping detailed statistics on "A" time in each City department. Those numbers were then fed into Citi-Stat, the City's new computerized statistics tracking system that was guiding Mayor O'Malley's efforts to make City government more efficient. [1] It is obvious that members of the fire and police departments became a statistic that was to be eliminated. Members were never placed into an “Attendance Monitoring Plan" for abusing leave time, as is provided for in the Manual of Procedures for the Baltimore City Fire Department that outlined the policies relating to, among other things, disciplining members for violating City employment rules.

On August 15, 2002, the Baltimore Sun reported that in a continuing push to privatize City services, the Baltimore City Board of Estimates hired a hospital and a management company yesterday (8-14-2002) to examine City Workers Compensation Claims. The contracts were awarded to Mercy Medical Center to operate the Public Safety Infirmary for $2 million dollars, and to Comp Management for $4 million dollars. These two companies had already been operating these services on behalf of the City long before 2002. Evidence shows that they were involved with the City of Baltimore, as far back as 1999, around the same time as Mayor O'Malley's "Return to Work" initiative began. The idea for privatizing the clinic stemmed from a May 2001 study by the Greater Baltimore Committee. A comment in the article from a Union official that represents City and State employees stated that, "It doesn't take a genius to know that private companies will make medical decisions based on the bottom line." City officials said that the deals would save the City money in large part because the contractors will do a better job of detecting fraud and getting injured employees back to work.