A union firefighter accused of embezzlement in the Alpes-Maritimes

A union firefighter accused of embezzlement in the Alpes-Maritimes
A union firefighter accused of embezzlement in the Alpes-Maritimes

JI made a mistake. I betrayed my family, my friends, my corporation….” Chief Warrant Officer André Goretti, union leader of the Alpes-Maritimes firefighters for twenty-five years, former much-feared national president of the Autonomous Federation of Firefighters (SPP Pats), speaks on the telephone in a weary voice . He pleads guilty from the start of the conversation.

“I have no excusehe adds. I was caught in a spiral. I can’t even do the script again. I will pay back what I owe.” André Goretti says he has been on antidepressants since his colleagues accused him of financial embezzlement.

He hastily resigned from all his union mandates at the beginning of June. His last fight was the demand for a law to better protect firefighters from occupational illnesses, particularly cancer.

Audit in progress

Members of the autonomous union 06 requested an audit and reported “suspicious financial elements” to the public prosecutor. Hundreds of thousands of euros have disappeared from the coffers. We are talking about 500,000 euros, maybe more. What were they used for? The honorary president of the FASP does not specify this.

In a press release, the Autonomous Union affirms that the matter is in the hands of justice and that it will be “uncompromising with possible accomplices”. “These facts cannot taint the integrity and collective work accomplished for the firefighters for so many years,” add the signatories of a press release intended for members.

The Trade Union (FO and Avenir Secours) is ironic about “a Dede-tour”, allusion to the nickname of André Goretti, and criticizes the Autonomous Union for a lack of transparency in this matter. The Trade Union denounces “a system”, “troubles to get friends and inserts named, privileges”and hope that “the omerta is over”.

André Goretti, sometimes brutal with his interlocutors when it came to defending the rights of his colleagues, was prosecuted in 2016 after a demonstration about working hours. Firefighters had invaded the A8, obstructed traffic and caused damage.

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