Shelton schedules oral tests for new fire chief, assistants
  Rick Scavetta, Register Staff     September 26, 2000

SHELTON — The city will hold oral testing for a new fire chief and assistant fire chiefs the week of Oct. 10, Director of Public Safety Kenneth Nappi said Friday.

Nappi said he had hoped to fill the jobs by this week. 

"We want to fill them as soon as possible," he said. 

After seven White Hills firefighters won a lawsuit over the way the Board of Fire Commissioners hired the current chief and two assistant chiefs, commissioners were forced to scrutinize their policies. In July, the Board of Fire Commissioners instituted new job descriptions and revamped its hiring process. 

There are three applicants for the chief’s job and six for the two assistant chief’s slots. No names have been released. 

Candidates will go before three peers of equal or higher rank. Once scored, they will be ranked by the score they achieved. 

"No one locally would be on the panel," Nappi said. 

The board will then interview the top five candidates and make its selections. Mayor Mark Lauretti will have final approval, Nappi said. 

Chief John Millo and assistants Stephen Nesteriak and Justin Sabatino were hired in 1998. The seven firefighters claimed the hiring standards were relaxed for the top positions, and said the testing process was unfair. 

Superior Court Judge George W. Ripley II ruled in June that the fire commissioners acted improperly when they allowed all applicants, regardless of their performance on a written test, to take an oral test for fire chief and assistant chief positions. 

Millo, Sabatino and Nesteriak all failed the written portion of the test. 

The personnel department is also testing to fill a newly created full-time position for a deputy fire marshal to assist Fire Marshall James Tortora with fire code inspections.