Firefighter’s union censures councilman
The Cape Coral Professional Firefighter’s Union voted to censure Councilmember Chris Chulakes-Leetz, who they say has continually attacked the union leadership and grossly overstated his credentials as a firefighter.
Union President Mark Muerth said Monday that Chulakes-Leetz’s background was vetted by the union leadership and no evidence of his being a professional firefighter was found.
“He’s never been a firefighter, that’s a complete fabrication,” Muerth said.
Chulakes-Leetz said he never claimed to be an expert in the field, and the designation was given to him by Muerth and the union leadership.
He only claims to be an expert in the paramedics field, he said.
He said they were likely fearful of a council member having knowledge of current firefighting practices.
“It’s a total fabrication based on their fear … they never asked what my background is,” Chulakes-Leetz added.
Muerth and the leadership plans on taking the censure to their annual meeting in Jacksonville. The purpose, Muerth said, was to make certain their position on Chulakes-Leetz is known statewide.
“It will let others know he doesn’t speak for firefighters,” he said.
Meurth read the censure before City Council during public comment Monday night.
Chulakes-Leetz said he can prove all of his credentials. He invited Muerth and union leadership to sit down and discuss his background during the meeting, but said that invitation expired.
He said there’s no reason to fear him because of his knowledge.
“They needn’t fear me unless they choose to lie and deceive,” he said.
Muerth said Chulakes-Leetz has repeatedly said that union leadership doesn’t represent the rank and file. The censure, voted on and approved by union members, should make it clear to the council member.
“This resolution is a clear representation of how the rank and file truly feels,” he said.