Troubled firefighters allowed disability pay despite law

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DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - A newspaper reports the city of Des Moines has helped firefighters facing termination for alcohol offenses instead retire with disability benefits barred by state law.

The Des Moines Register reports that over the past 12 years, city officials aided at least three firefighters who faced termination for alcohol-related offenses.

Since 2002 Iowa law has barred firefighters and police officers from applying for disability if they are not in "good standing" or are the subjects of investigations that could lead to dismissal. Des Moines has used that law in some cases to block some police officers or firefighters from collecting disability.

But court records, the firefighters union and sworn testimony by Fire Chief John TeKippe show the city has helped other workers who faced termination retire with disability benefits.