Firefighter appealing job loss over dogs

July 30, 2009 at 1:44 PM

COLUMBUS, Ohio, July 30 (UPI) -- A Columbus, Ohio, firefighter says he should not have been fired for fatally shooting his two dogs.

David Santuomo has filed an appeal to the Civil Service Commission, saying he should be reinstated to his firefighting post because he was not fired due to poor job performance, The Columbus (Ohio) Dispatch said Thursday.

"I feel I was unfairly discharged due to public opinion and political pressure. Not for job performance," Santuomo said in his appeal last Friday.

Friday's appeal came eight days after Safety Director Mitchell J. Brown dismissed Santuomo over an incident last December in which the 13-year Columbus firefighter shot and killed his family dogs.

Santuomo killed the dogs to avoid paying for their boarding while vacationing and later dumped the dogs' bodies in a trash bin near his fire station, the Dispatch said.

The 43-year-old is scheduled to begin a 90-day jail sentence in September following his conviction on charges of animal cruelty and possession of a criminal tool. No date has been set for a commission hearing on Santuomo's appeal.

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