Firefighter Robert Keiley is livid. Keiley, who moonlights as a model, was shocked last week to find his image on a flier at a fundraising event for the World Police Fire Games. The ad shows the soot-stained Keily holding a picture of the World Trade Center remains. In bold letters at the top it says "I was there". It is followed by the words "And now, Worby Groner Edelman & Napoli Bern is there for me."
According to an "exclusive" story by the New York Post's Reuven Fenton and Jennifer Fermino, Worby Groner Edelman & Napoli Bern is a "controversial law firm specializing in 9/11 lawsuits". Robert Keiley is an FDNY firefighter. But he wasn't at the World Trade Center on 9-11 or in the days after the attack. Keiley didn't join FDNY until 2004.
Keiley told the Post he thought he was posing for a fire prevention ad. He says the original photo, before it was altered, showed him holding a helmet and not the picture.
Keiley is thinking of filing a law suit but the ad agency, Barker/DZP, told the Post he signed his rights away in a release. The law firm told reporters to call the ad agency for comment.
Here's more from the Post:
"It's an insult to the Fire Department. It's an insult to all the families who lost people that day," said Keiley, 34, an ex-cop who now works out of an engine company in Flatbush, Brooklyn.
"It makes me look like I'm cashing in on 9/11, saying I was there even though I was never there, and that I'm sick and possibly suing, trying to get a chunk of money."
WTC-disaster law firm Worby Groner raised eyebrows in May when news surfaced that its lawyers were ready to take home a third or more of a settlement negotiated on behalf of sickened Ground Zero workers.
An angry federal judge said the arrangement gave too much money to the legal team and too little to sick workers — and the firm reduced its fees.
Keiley said that in one of his most painful moments since the ad surfaced, he had to call his best friend, whose brother died in 9/11, to tell him he had nothing to do with it.
At the bottom, in tiny letters, the ad stated, "This is an actor portrayal of a potential Zadroga claimant," referring to sick 9/11 workers who could receive aid under the federal James Zadroga Act.
(Special thanks to loyal STATter911.com reader & friend Dave Levy for sending this our way.)
Also on STATter911 …
- Raw video: Fire at Ground Zero. Construction trailers burn at WTC site. – December 26, 2012
- Sick leave ‘abuse’ suddenly drops by 66-percent in Minneapolis FD. See how one fire chief solved problem only days after consultant’s report made newspaper headlines. – July 31, 2012
- SMACSS hits again: FDNY EMS Lieutenant breaks down when confronted by reporters about racist tweets. Anti-Semitic comments target Mayor Michael Bloomberg. – March 24, 2013
- Pennsylvania volunteer’s story about being an FDNY firefighter trapped in 9-11 rubble questioned. Steelton mayor & chief questioned about comments to newspaper. – December 29, 2011
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