La Verne Firefighters Say They Were Secretly Recorded as Part of Retaliation Campaign
An ongoing dispute between La Verne and its firefighters is reaching a boiling point.
In legal filings, the union representing the fire department’s rank and file now claims they were secretly recorded by their battalion chief Michael Thomson as part of a retaliation campaign that began after they gave Fire Chief Peter Jankowski a vote of no confidence and endorsed the mayor’s opponent during the 2017 election.
"We found out we were being secretly videotaped, recorded and secret notes taken of us over a 10-month period," said LVFD Capt. Danny Montoya, calling it an act of betrayal. "Through discovery we've found over 250 videos, 2,000 pictures and 232 pages of personal hand written notes regarding us at the station."
The firefighters, who have now filed three claims against the city, believe the recordings were conducted with the full knowledge and sanction of La Verne’s fire chief. Their union says they will consider settling if the city fires both Jankowski and Thompson.
The city says Thompson has been placed on administrative leave pending an outside investigation.