December 4, 2012

Maryland man is nominated as Portland's fire chief

If OK'd by the City Council, Jerome LaMoria will face pressure to adapt to changes in service needs.

By David Hench dhench@pressherald.com
Staff Writer

(Continued from page 1)

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Jerome LaMoria

The firefighters' union has appealed the discipline meted out to a Portland fire captain and a firefighter.

John Brooks, president of Local 740, said he looks forward to working with LaMoria. He said the department could use some "fresh ideas," although it is running fine just as it is.

"I don't think he was hired to make changes," he said of LaMoria.

Portland firefighters don't have to worry about LaMoria being the city's "hatchet man," said Christian Wargo, vice president of the Prince George's County Firefighters and Paramedics Association.

"Jerry is for the guys," he said. "I worked for Jerry as a firefighter, as a lieutenant and as a captain. I wold work for Jerry anytime, anywhere and any place. He's one of the best leaders that I have ever been around."

LaMoria would replace Fred LaMontagne, who retired in March.

Rees came close to hiring a replacement this summer, but the top candidate backed out for personal reasons, Rees said. The city then re-advertised the position.

When the City Council votes on LaMoria, councilors won't have any information about him other than his resume, Suslovic said, so the council can do little but "rubber stamp" the nomination.

Suslovic said he would like to see the council hold public hearings on nominations of department heads.

Mayor Michael Brennan said he doesn't see any need to change the system. He said Rees has shown excellent judgment in previous hires, such as Jeff Levine, who heads the city's planning department, and Police Chief Michael Sauschuck.

LaMoria, who grew up in Vermont, said he wants to return to New England. He said he and his wife, Maureen LaMoria, enjoying kayaking and hiking.

Staff Writer Tom Bell can be contacted at 791-6368 or at:

tbell@pressherald.com

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Today's poll: Portland fire chief

Are you pleased with Portland's selection of Jerome LaMoria as its new fire chief?

Yes

No

View Results