During a promotion ceremony Wednesday morning for Antonio Almodovar, the New Haven Fire Department union president, Frank Ricci, interrupted interim Fire Chief Ralph Black.
“By what authority is he getting promoted today?” Ricci said.
"I think that this is a position we are going to promote him because he finished number one and the list was approved," Black replied.
Ricci maintains Black violated the proper procedure to promote someone because there was no motion to approve the chief’s recommendation at the meeting. The city charter requires the board to vote on a promotion.
“The chief unilaterally violated that process and then today he doubled down on it by looking right at the cameras and lying,” Ricci told NBC Connecticut. “He’s a stranger to the truth and he is unfit for his position.”
New Haven’s Chief Administrative Officer Michael Carter is defending interim Chief Black.
“According to my knowledge,” he said. “The list was accepted and it was unanimous.”
Almodovar is the right choice to become the new director of training, Ricci said.
“I’m not going to have one of my members who scored number one and earned the promotion be demoted because he was not promoted legitimately,” Ricci said during the promotion ceremony.
After Ricci finally left the room, the interim chief addressed what had just occurred.
“I apologize for what just transpired,” Black told the crowd, “it’s his right to say what he wants, but I don’t believe this is the forum for that and I stick by that.”