NY court rules former FF convicted of lewd act not owed back pay

Union officials claimed Richard Forte was entitled to $30,000 for the time he was suspended before his conviction and firing for the act committed against another firefighter


Observer-Dispatch
Observer-Dispatch, Utica, N.Y.

UTICA, N.Y. — The New York State Supreme Court Appellate Division unanimously ruled that the city of Utica would not have to pay a former city firefighter for his time suspended for a lewd act against a female firefighter, the city announced in a statement Tuesday.

Richard Forte was found guilty in a city court bench trial last September of charges related to a January 2018 incident in which he ejaculated on a pair of pants owned by a female firefighter. He was sentenced to 60 days in county jail last December.

The New York State Supreme Court Appellate Division ruled that the city of Utica does not owe Richard Forte (left), a former city firefighter, back pay for the time he was suspended before his conviction and firing for a lewd act committed against another firefighter. (Photo/H. Rose Schneider, Observer-Dispatch)
The New York State Supreme Court Appellate Division ruled that the city of Utica does not owe Richard Forte (left), a former city firefighter, back pay for the time he was suspended before his conviction and firing for a lewd act committed against another firefighter. (Photo/H. Rose Schneider, Observer-Dispatch)

Following the incident, Forte was suspended and later fired by the city. His union, the International Association of Fire Fighters Local 32, appealed this, but the firing was upheld by an arbitrator, officials said.

The state Supreme Court sided with the city on a second lawsuit filed by the union, which claimed Forte was entitled to be paid around $30,000 for his time while suspended. The city argued Forte was not entitled because he caused delays in the arbitration process, officials said.

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©2020 Observer-Dispatch, Utica, N.Y.

McClatchy-Tribune News Service

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