(AP) PATERSON, N.J. -- Paterson city officials say they have fired a New Jersey fire captain who was commuting to work from a Pennsylvania prison.

Paterson fire Capt. Thomas Alala was serving a year for drunken driving when city officials discovered in May that he was commuting roughly 70 miles from the Northampton County Prison in Easton, Pa., for his 24-hour shifts.

Fire officials say he never told the department about the conviction _ his third one for driving while intoxicated _ and the work-release arrangement was stopped.

A retired New Jersey Superior court judge serving as a disciplinary hearing officer ruled Monday that Alala should be terminated for "conduct unbecoming a public employee."

Alala earned roughly $100,000 annually, and it was unclear if he would lose his pension.


Information from: The Herald News of West Paterson, http://www.northjersey.com

Copyright 2009 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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Ya know, I've almost always a comeback or remark, but with stories like this over the last several days....
Don't do the crime if you can't do the time.
his third one for driving while intoxicated
Surely in the tight knit community that is the emergency services, he couldn't have hidden this? Surely this must have raised alarms somewhere with someone?
just may be, the stress got to him

may be he needs help and not persecution
All I can say is WTF! How does one get 3 OVI's and it not come up on his driving abstract? How does one get 3 OVI's and not tell his superriors? Treatment vs. prosecution, a little late. He has already been convicted. Weekend Intervention Program (or whatever that state offers) is not usually for repeat offenders. Besides, what insurance carrier is going to cover him driving any apparatus with 3 OVI's on his record? There are very few criminal offenses I have no tolerance for in the fire service and OVI is only second to Arson!
Get one...admit to a problem and get help.....Get 3....You deserve what you get....And YES, I agree he should have been fired but at the conviction.....He rubs it in the nose of every other person out there......and as an FYI...if that happened here in NY he would loose his pension........Paul
I wonder how long it took everyone to realize that he was commuting from prison.
but i mean i think that he deserved what he got. I mean come on Firefighters are role models for younger children so
" he never told the department about the conviction _ his third one for driving while intoxicated'' that would be unacceptable and downgrading to everyone close to him in the dept.
Maybe it was the stress in New Jersey that lead to DWI in Pennsylvania. The report must be true. Nobody could make that up.
This guy needs rehab!
How did the department not catch on to his history? Usually the employer is the first one to find out especially as a public employee. The media should have broken the story, because you know how they love to roast the fire service when caught being bad.....

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