City Commissioner Dan Saltzman this morning delayed a motion before the council, to direct the city attorney's office to appeal an arbitrator's ruling saying the city should pay out $104,000 to former firefighter Tom Hurley.
Hurley has been claiming disability checks from the city since 1993, after he hurt his back. He went to the French Culinary Institute in New York while collecting disability checks of $3,200 a month, and eventually became a famous chef—particularly at his now-shuttered Northwest restaurant, Hurley's, which attracted animal rights protesters with its ubiquitous use of foie gras.
The city tried to force Hurley to rejoin the firefighters under a new "return to work program" in 2005, but Hurley refused, so the city stopped paying the benefits. An arbitrator ruled recently, however, that FPD&R should have bargained over that "return to work program" with the union before asking Hurley to return to work. The arbitrator said FPD&R owes Hurley $104,000 to "make good."
"After discussion with the city attorney's office we have decided to set this motion over until next week," says Saltzman's chief of staff, Brendan Finn.
It's unclear what's behind the move.