Re: Disabled (Ha!)

Monique’s already expressed a justified skepticism about this:

Former firefighter John Sauro remains permanently and totally disabled from doing his job in the Fire Department, an orthopedic surgeon has concluded after a special examination.
But the surgeon recommended additional tests to confirm his finding.
The report by Dr. Anthony DeLuise Jr. was submitted Wednesday to the city Retirement Board, which voted to have the additional tests done.

Sauro, you’ll recall, retired in his late thirties with his tax-free disability pension of $45,600 and fully paid health benefits and at age 48 spends a great deal of time bodybuilding. As Monique highlights, Dr. DeLuise’s conclusion was based on a physical exam, viewing of WPRI’s sting video of Sauro’s workout, and the decade-old medical records that won Sauro his boon in the first place.
This initial finding is just part of the process, of course — which process appears designed to delay and give politicians and bureaucrats plenty of opportunity to grant Sauro and his union a soft exit from the public spotlight. Meanwhile, in the wave of controversy and careful phrases, like “permanently and totally disabled from doing his job,” the larger question is lost:

  • Even if Sauro has difficulty with a very limited range of motion
  • and even if the risk of further injury makes it inadvisable for him to perform active firefighter duties
  • should a public-safety-job-related injury mean that the employee never has to work another day in his life even though his impairment is so minimal as to be unobservable?
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Chuck
Chuck
10 years ago

If it quacks like a duck….
pity the poor business owner who has to rise and bake the bread while nursing a herniated disc or torn rotator cuff.
Disability IS the new welfare.

Dan
Dan
10 years ago

Bodybuilder/”disabled” fireman Arroyo’s trial just began in Boston. They are actually trying him for fraud, unlike spineless, corrupt Rhode Island which will give Sauro a pass out of respect for his “service.”
Actually, I kind of respect that about Rhode Island – Boston does a whole song and dance about a few bad apples and how this is the “end of an era” every time a speaker goes to federal prison (3rd in a row), a state senator is caught stuffing bribe money in her bra, a firefighter is caught on tape defrauding the taxpayers, etc. Rhode Island doesn’t even bother trying to pretend. Everyone knows what they are getting. Yes, our retirees scam the taxpayers, it is what it is.

Monique
Monique(@monique-chartier)
Editor
10 years ago

“should a public-safety-job-related injury mean that the employee never has to work another day in his life even though his impairment is so minimal as to be unobservable?”
That … is the question.
Why haven’t disability pensions in Rhode Island been issued on a sliding scale, the way they do in the military?
Secondly, as long as RI local and state gov’ts have refused to implement that change (which they should have done decades ago), they had an absolute obligation to genuinely re-certify – no paperwork rubberstamping baloney; go and check, the way Sal Lombardi was doing before “corrupted” politicians called him off – every single disability pension on an annual basis.

michael
10 years ago

‘Why haven’t disability pensions in Rhode Island been issued on a sliding scale, the way they do in the military?”
Works for me, I could have left two years ago at 80%

Monique
Monique(@monique-chartier)
Editor
10 years ago

Sliding scale by gravity of injury, Michael.
On that basis, Mr. Sauro would get, like, 5%. In your case, with your fractured vertebrate, wouldn’t that be more like 100%?

Monique
Monique(@monique-chartier)
Editor
10 years ago

… fractured vertebrae (plural).

Doug Meisner
Doug Meisner
10 years ago

This debate is almost funny.
Supposedly serious people are actually arguing that this isn’t a scam? Seriously, that’s like saying the world is flat. This is a scam. The whole disability pension system is a scam. Everyone knows it’s a scam, including the union hacks/bozos who sit on these retirement boards. I have no respect for those folks, but I’d have a shred of respect if they woud just say “Of course it’s a scam, why do you think we have never once denied a disability pension; we are ripping you off, Mr. honest taxpayer of RI–you are a fool and we are playing you for a fool.”

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