“Taking care of their own” – Callahan claim filed

October 29, 2010

By KAREN VELIE

San Luis Obispo city officials have confirmed that a workers compensation claim based on presumptive causes was filed on behalf of former Fire Chief John Callahan that is slated to cost the taxpayers about $7,000 per month.

Callahan, 61, died suddenly of a heart attack on Aug. 18 while playing softball at Santa Rosa Park. Within weeks, a workers’ compensation claim was filed.

“It is a brother or sisterhood and they are taking care of their own,” said one former San Luis Obispo council member, who asked not to be identified.

City councilwoman, and mayoral candidate, Jan Marx told CalCoastNews that the issue has not been brought in front of the city council at this time, but noted the sensitive nature of the subject because Callahan was “beloved.”

Presumptive injuries, which include heart attacks, are injuries that have developed while working on the job. State laws allow for public safety workers to file claims of work related injuries not afforded to the general public.

Even so, according to California Labor Code section 3212, “The hernia, heart trouble, or pneumonia so developing or manifesting itself in those cases shall in no case be attributed to any disease existing prior to that development or manifestation.”

Callahan had a previous heart attack about a year ago, sources said.

In order to be fully vested in CalPERS, a person has to have worked for a department for five years. Callahan was about 10 weeks short of five years when he died and was not eligible for a city retirement.

However, if it is determined Callahan was on the job when he suffered a heart attack or that the heart attack was caused from his work as a fire fighter, his widow could be eligible for a tax free workers compensation benefit.

After 32 years with the Los Angeles Fire Department Callahan retired and began drawing a pension of approximately $170,000 a year. Callahan was appointed San Luis Obispo fire chief in Nov. 2005 and planned on retiring as soon as he was fully vested in CalPERS, Nov. 2010.


Loading...

80 Comments

  1. mkaney says:

    There were a lot of arguments in this thread from firefighters claiming low average salaries for CA firefighters and about how their retirement is self funded and how we have false impressions about the hours they work, esp. from Treken.

    Let me be very very clear about this… either you are getting conned yourself, and you should join the rest of us in this fight, or, like I suspect, you are LYING through your teeth, trying to manipulate people with BS numbers. YOU WANT THE NUMBERS?

    http://www.sco.ca.gov/compensation_search.html

    THERE YOU GO. Go look up the actual pay of firefighters and police throughout the state. Now we have the REAL numbers, and the TRUTH. And you thought the public was pissed off before? Just keep it up with your self-righteous propaganda and see how pissed off we get. Anyone else care to make any more arguments to sway people’s perception?

    Kinda hard to do when we’ve got the true information, isn’t it? But I imagine the focus will no just shift to “sacrifice.” Save it, we’re done here, and if you don’t want to see the end of your unions altogether, I’d suggest you put your energies toward understanding what the rest of the working people in this state are scraping by on and figure out what sacrifices you are REALLY willing to make, if you’re so selfless, to prevent our impending financial demise.

    (3) 9 Total Votes - 6 up - 3 down
    • olegaucho says:

      So you went through and averaged out all of the provided salaries in the state and found that it was over 46k at a firefighter position? for all I know, your post is just as bogus as what you are claiming trekkin’s to be…..

      (1) 3 Total Votes - 2 up - 1 down
      • mkaney says:

        Did I SAY that I went through an averaged all of the provided salaries? Did I provide some average salary computation? No I did nothing of the sort. I said “here are the salaries.” Why don’t you go look at them, and tell me if you think any sort of average would wind up anywhere NEAR 46k. In fact, I made very few claims of any sort. What I said was “here are the numbers.” If you don’t like my thoughts, go look at them, come up with your own thoughts.

        People will try ANYTHING to derail reality..

        (0) 4 Total Votes - 2 up - 2 down

Comments are closed.