FDNY firefighter resigns after busted for selling pills
Ex-firefighter Michael Halderman, whose father, grandfather and uncle all served as firefighters, sold an opioid painkiller to an informant working with Nassau County police
New York Daily News
NEW YORK — A third-generation firefighter busted for selling prescription pills resigned from the FDNY last month after a city judge recommended his termination, the Daily News has learned.
Ex-firefighter Michael Halderman, whose father, grandfather and uncle all served as members of the Bravest, sold an opioid painkiller known as Roxicodone to an informant working with Nassau County cops three different times, leading to his June 2016 arrest, court records show.
Halderman, 35, pleaded guilty to misdemeanor drug possession and was sentenced to three years probation.
Kara Miller, the judge at Halderman’s Administrative Trials and Hearings proceeding earlier this year, recommended in her May 22 decision that the 14-year veteran be fired.
She noted his clean service record — no prior discipline and two merit citations, in 2011 and 2013 — but said his conduct “demonstrates his reckless disregard for the law and safety of those he would be charged with protecting.”
Miller’s recommendation went to Fire Commissioner Daniel Nigro, who would have made the final decision.
But before Nigro could act, Halderman resigned on June 19.
The ex-firefighter couldn’t be reached for comment at this Long Island home. But his lawyer, Peter Gleason, said that he thinks so much of Halderman that he hired him as a part-time paralegal.
“That’s how much I trust him,” Gleason said.
Halderman pleaded guilty to avoid the possibility of a felony indictment — and because he initially believed a misdemeanor conviction would not cost him his job, the lawyer said.
“There are people who have done far worse who are still with the Fire Department,” Gleason said. “[Miller’s] decision was ridiculous.”
Gleason also cast doubt on the drug sale, noting the “desperate confidential informant”, a drug user himself, worked with police to avoid facing charges.
And he said the OATH trial itself was botched. Nassau court documents weren’t properly submitted as evidence and the detectives involved in the bust didn’t show up to testify, leaving the judge to rely on a prior transcript and denying Gleason the chance to cross-examine the officers, he said.
“Due process to me is more important than what he did. The OATH tribunal is no different from a Three-Card Monte game in Times Square," Gleason fumed.
Halderman worked at Ladder 33 in the Bronx until his arrest, then was assigned to desk duty.
His namesake father is a retired deputy chief and his uncle, Lt. David Halderman, of Squad 18 in Greenwich Village, was killed in the Twin Towers on Sept. 11, 2001.
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