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Firefighters' Union, Top Brass Fight After Firefighter Loses Promotion

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Mayor Bill de Blasio has said that his fire commissioner, who is a holdover from the Bloomberg administration, is staying on, at least for now, but on the steps of City Hall Thursday, the fight over one firefighter's promotion has led to a call for his removal. NY1's Courtney Gross filed the following report.

Things are getting heated between the firefighters' union and top brass.

Steve Cassidy of the Uniformed Firefighters Association was busy bashing Fire Commissioner Salvatore Cassano on Thursday while backing up Elizabeth Osgood, a 12-year veteran of New York's Bravest.

Osgood lost her promotion to lieutenant just last week. The union claims it's because she was an unnamed source for a New York Post story last year, a story that criticized another female FDNY recruit struggling to pass the department's training program.

"What they have done is outrageous," Cassidy said. "The commissioner needs to go, but before he goes, he should apologize and promote firefighter Osgood."

"I have the utmost respect for the FDNY, and it's just, it's so hurtful to me that this is happening," Osgood said.

To find the so-called leak, department leaders issued subpoenas, which Osgood says included a demand for her personal phone records. Those behind-the-scenes maneuvers have presented the union with an opportunity to take on the department's top leader.

"There's no leadership in the fire department. There's no trust," Cassidy said. "The members don't trust him. They don't have a right to trust him now."

Cassano's office says that the leak involved medical and personnel information and is now under investigation.

In a statement, a spokesman said, "Firefighter Osgood was not promoted last Friday because she is a subject of that investigation, and the department's standard procedure is not to promote any individuals who are the subjects of an ongoing investigation."

As for Cassano's future, Mayor Bill de Blasio said that he would keep him on through the winter. When NY1 asked City Hall about the call for his ouster, a spokeswoman did not respond to the criticism. Instead, she said that City Hall was thankful to the commissioner for agreeing to serve while the administration takes shape.

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