Sag Harbor Firefighter Returns To Department One Year After Expulsion

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The Sag Harbor Fire Department, which was accused of violating its bylaws in expelling one of its members last year, has allowed that firefighter to return to its ranks.

Scott Ficorilli, a member of the department’s Otter Hose Company, is, as of a few weeks ago, a firefighter once more.

“We’re pleased with that development,” his attorney, Thomas W. Horn of Noyac said last week. “We’re, of course, disappointed it took a full year to right this wrong, but we’re glad that they have.”

A settlement signed several months ago by Mr. Horn and the department’s attorney, Jeffrey B. Siler of Siler & Ingber, LLP, of Mineola, said Mr. Ficorilli would be allowed to rejoin the all-volunteer squad—with his termination expunged from his record—immediately under the condition that he drop a notice of claim he filed against the department and the village, threatening to sue over his dismissal.

Several months later, the village put him back on its insurance rolls and the department took him back, following an internal delay at the company level of the fire department, according to Mr. Horn.

Mr. Horn had argued that the department’s Board of Wardens failed to follow its bylaws when it voted, within nine minutes, at a meeting in April 2012, to expel Mr. Ficorilli over an allegation that he stole department property, thereby denying him due process. The bylaws call for a suspension of a certain number of days.

Mr. Ficorilli was accused of stealing a department pager—an allegation his attorney says is untrue. Sag Harbor Village Police concluded an investigation without filing charges.

Mr. Horn alleges that an employee of the village’s Highway Department maliciously pulled a prank on his client. According to the attorney’s account, a delivery man, not wanting to leave a package for the fire department out in the open, brought it to the nearby Highway Department barn instead. An employee then swiped it and “surreptitiously” placed the package so that Mr. Ficorilli, who also worked for the Highway Department then, would run it over with his vehicle, crushing it.

Mr. Ficorilli spotted the package in time, placed it in his truck for safekeeping to return to the fire department, but then forgot about it, Mr. Horn said. He turned it over, unopened, when police asked about it.

“All this blew up over someone who pulled a prank and still has a job at the village,” Mr. Horn said, adding that it may be the subject of future litigation. “I think it was malevolent and part of a hostile atmosphere that this person is creating at the highway barn. It’s part of the reason that Scott left that place.”

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