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Robinson Caught On Hot Mic Disparaging Philly Fire Dept. Captain

Sen. Devlin Robinson (R-Allegheny)

Two Pennsylvania state lawmakers are in the hot seat after they were caught on a live microphone and on video making a disparaging remark about a Philadelphia Fire Department captain.

The Senate Veterans Affairs and Emergency Preparedness Committee, chaired by Sen. Doug Mastriano (R-Franklin), held a hearing in Coraopolis that focused on legislation introduced by Sen. Devlin Robinson (R-Allegheny). The proposal was to create a Pennsylvania Task Force Urban Search and Rescue team, based in Allegheny County, to assume primary coverage in the western part of the state.

In his capacity as manager of Pennsylvania Task Force 1, the state’s urban search and rescue team, Capt. Ken Pagurek was called to testify at an emergency management budget hearing about forming another team like it in Allegheny County.

As Pagurek was walking to his seat, Robinson leaned over to Mastriano and made a disparaging remark about Pagurek. Mastriano, as seen on the video, could be seen laughing at the comment.

Mike Brennan, president of the Philadelphia Firefighters’ Union, told KYW Newsradio that the incident was “completely inappropriate” and “unprofessional.”

“Obviously they didn’t agree or like Capt. Pagurek’s testimony against what they’re trying to do,” Bresnan said.

“And for Sen. Robinson, from what I’ve seen, himself, is a decorated Marine veteran — I imagine he thinks highly of himself as far as the service — but Ken Pagurek’s service to the city of Philadelphia and citizens of the state, I could put up on par with a veteran’s because he’s been in a lot of situations where he’s put his so-called butt on the line,” Bresnan said.

Robinson sent an apology out on Twitter, or what formerly was known as Twitter.

The full video of the hearing and the unedited clip can be found on Mastriano’s own Facebook page with the segment in question beginning at the 1:34:42 mark.

Mastriano has not made any comment.

“And then Sen. Mastriano who was a colonel in the army, and Kenny, Capt. Pagurek, it’s the same caliber of men and women that Colonel Mastriano, Sen. Mastriano, had under his command in the army. The respect … for him to laugh … I mean, it’s disgraceful,” Bresnan said.

“I don’t know if they just got caught up in the moment. But I saw Sen. Robinson’s apology, and it’s inadequate. They need to both immediately apologize directly to Capt. Pagurek,” Bresnan said.

8 Responses

  1. Pagurek was testifying to prevent Pittsburgh from getting a rapid disaster response team. They had to wait six hours after a bridge collapsed because the existing team is on the other side of the state. How would you feel about someone who’d leave fellow first-responders stranded like that?

    1. Doesn’t matter. This was childish, unprofessional, and unbecoming of elected officials representing Pennsylvanians.

      They should both be ashamed.

  2. Republicans have spent the last decade leveling charges that Democrats are what they – THE REPUBLICANS – really are. Here’s a prime example – Republicans accuse Democrats of being elitists and disrespectful towards first responders and the police, but here is a Republican – ROBINSON – completely disrespecting a decorated and respected first responder – SEE HOW IT WORKS.





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