Hartford firefighter fired over workers compensation

HARTFORD -- Hartford Fire Chief Reginald Freeman issued a statement Tuesday regarding the firing of an employee following an internal investigation of workers compensation abuse.

Freeman said "today, I terminated the employment of a Hartford firefighter after an internal investigation found clear evidence of workers compensation abuse.  The Hartford Fire Department and the City of Hartford will not tolerate fraud or abuse of programs that exist to protect employees. Anyone who abuses the workers compensation system diminishes the great work and dedication demonstrated by the vast majority of employees and firefighters on a daily basis." 

The Hartford Courant reports city records show Lt. John Moree, who has been unable to perform firefighter duties dating back to July 2015, was seen on surveillance video loading building materials onto a vehicle at a home improvement store.

The Courant said Moore, was put on workers compensation on July 24, 2015, and stayed on that for seven months. Moore, a 21-year veteran, was former partner of Kevin Bell who was former firefighter who died in 2014.

According to an internal investigation and a wrongful death lawsuit, Moree left a burning building with Bell still inside, assuming Bell had gotten out on his own. This investigation led to 19 recommendations for the department.

This is the second firing for the department in four days. Firefighter Jimmy Ngo was terminated on Friday after an arrest warrant revealed a drug deal led to a shooting in Rocky Hill that injured Ngo.

Moree will still be eligible to receive his pension, but he will not be paid for unused sick time or retiree’s health insurance.