Today, the New York State Supreme Court dismissed Fire Chief Russell Brooks’ 92-d case, ruling in favor of the City.
Despite inaccurate and misleading information that was spread in the public arena in regards to the City’s decision to place Chief Brooks on medical leave, the City is pleased with today’s ruling.
While it’s never popular to deny anyone’s disability claim, the City has an obligation to follow the law, even when it’s not politically convenient.
The City’s decision was based solely on the facts and medical evidence after a thorough review of Chief Brooks’ medical file by an independent doctor and toxicologist. The City will continue to take this position.
By no means did the Supreme Court ruling minimize Chief Brooks 42-year service to the Utica Fire Department. The City has always acknowledged and recognized that Chief Brooks and the eleven other Utica Fire Department personnel represented the City while assisting in the recovery on 9/11 and we value and appreciate their service.
Since Chief Brooks was placed on medical leave, he has been provided his full salary and health benefits. The City is aware this matter is not yet fully resolved as there are other legal options available. Regardless of any outcome in the future we
continue to wish Chief Brooks well.