Fire official sends grammatically challenged, arrogant letter to firefighters

The remains of a fire engine.
The remains of a fire engine.

Detroit’s fire administration continues to lash out at firefighters for speaking out about dangerously defective fire rigs and other serious safety issues as Mayor Mike Duggan continues to defend the top brass.

In a grammatically challenged letter to the Detroit Fire Firefighters Association on Wednesday, the chief of fire operations for the administration, John King, criticized union President Jeff Pegg for speaking to the media.

Pegg had defended firefighters whose new fire engine was taken by King in retaliation for expressing concerns about a deafening seatbelt alarm that made it impossible to hear radio transmissions. The firefighters were left with an old rig riddled with problems in northeast Detroit, where fire protection is the weakest. The fire administration has already suspended one of the firefighters without pay.

I have put out more fires (figuratively and literally) then [sic] you will ever,” King wrote in a letter obtained by Motor City Muckraker. “My job, has always been to solve problems and find success where sometimes there is little hope; that should be your mantra.”

King also wrote: I have in the past looked beyond some of the inconsistencies you have shown towards our members and this office, but the news report done on September 1, 2015 was disrespectful and an insult to all dues paying members of this Union,” King wrote in the letter, obtained by Motor City Muckraker. “You embarrassed the City of Detroit, The Detroit Fire Department and my Union. For you in your capacity, to go on camera and criticize actions of other members without any attempt to find out the other side, let alone the facts, including the ones YOU KNEW were false before the news cast, showed a total disregard for the position you were elected to serve.”

Mayor Mike Duggan has pressured union leaders to stay out of the media – one reason the union has been quiet in the face of so many problems. Fed up with the silence, many firefighters are calling for a change in union leadership later this year.

To read the King’s entire letter, click here.

Steve Neavling

Steve Neavling lives and works in Detroit as an investigative journalist. His stories have uncovered corruption, led to arrests and reforms and prompted FBI investigations.

  • LAHeat

    After reading Mr. King’s letter in its entirety, it is now clear what one of the problems are with the DFD. Mr. King’s poor English and grammar says it all. This man (King) could not write a bank robbery note if he tried, and he is a high ranking DFD Administrative official?

    Next, if there were so many inconsistencies with Mr. Pegg’s interview with the news, then why didn’t Mr. King point those out point by point in his letter? Also, it is not Mr. Pegg’s job to present “both sides”. He represents the union and their interests – not the administrations! Let Mr. King present the “other side” if there is one, or perhaps Mr. King’s complaint is with the news reporting? It’s the job of the news to report “both sides.”

    And one last thing Mr. King, I was just wondering if you aware of the 1st Amendment? But based on your lack of proper English and grammar, I would have to guess you did not pay attention in your civics’ or history class either?

  • Klann Killa

    And there are MORE just like him. That’s our top brass on a daily basis. The disgust of it all makes a man wanna puke. It’s hard to look at those pricks and not physically assault them. ???✨?

  • Mikey Jones

    I have never seen such arrogance by bureaucrats who used to be firefighters to insist that nothing is wrong and anyone suggesting there is is a liar at best. I’m surprised they haven’t called the rank and file communists! How anyone can say with a straight face that the DFD is in good shape is ridiculous!. I can see being loyal to protect ones desk job, but to go to the lengths these bullies are is criminal! How can people who once did the job act now like they are being attacked by those who do the job now merely for stating the obvious?

  • javierjuanmanuel

    They need to send them all to retirement. We need all new brass from other cities.

    I had no idea until a few years the level of dysfunction in dfd

    • Klann Killa

      Don’t know about brass “from other cities”, I saw that movie, starring Don Austin. Horrible ending. That ?sucker gutted this department. All of those chumps should be FIRED, not retired, they don’t deserve the “golden parachutes”, especially the dumb one. Besides, do you even know where a phone booth is for them to have a retirement party in?

      • Donald E. Hodge

        I could not believe that letter he wrote to you guys! What a Blowhard. LOL!

      • javierjuanmanuel

        I mean they need outsiders who are not beholden, not owed anything, do not ow pay back, or scratch backs etc.

        There has to be two or three super well run FD that are just hat much better than all the other cities over 400-500k. Higher a guy not to old, but experienced, and hire a bunch of other brass that are well respected from a non toxic, non dysfunctional environment.

        I know enough about how this works, no one on the inside, no brass could possibly be promoted in a place like this, so messed up, with out being part of that nasty machine.

        To rise the ranks, you just have to be told to crush someone, or look the other way a bunch of times, and are told “this is the way its always been, this is the way its done etc”

  • Donald E. Hodge

    Well I hope he is that self righteous when Frontline and 60 Minutes comes to town.But I can hear it now………” The Chief can not talk to anyone at this time “.