A Bethlehem firefighter and former city Democratic Party chief who was arrested for drunken driving in August – two days after he started taking off for sick leave – has been fired by the city administration, according to published reports.
Schlener’s attorney told The Express-Times that they intend to appeal the termination.
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Schlener was allegedly driving with a blood-alcohol level of .256 percent -- more than three times the state’s legal driving limit of .08 percent.
Schlener, who was the chairman of the city's Democratic Party, stepped down from that position after the arrest.
City officials are not saying why he was fired, though it may have something to do with Schlener being out on sick leave when the DUI arrest happened. He had gone out on leave two days earlier.
Bethlehem Fire Department policy requires firefighters on sick leave to stay home for rest and recuperation, with exceptions for doctors appointments or family emergencies, or face possible termination.
Efforts to reach Dave Saltzer, the current president of the city firefighters union, and Joe Kelly, the city’s director of community and economic development, were unsuccessful.