Update: Ayers will testify - briefly

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Philadelphia Fire Commissioner Lloyd Ayers

UPDATE:Fire Commissioner Lloyd Ayers will testify at tomorrow's Committee on Labor and Civil Service Committee hearing, Nutter spokesman Mark McDonald said.

Ayers "is on a very tight schedule and must leave before 10:30 am. But any substantive departmental or broader policy questions that might come up can be fielded by Michael Resnick, the director of Public Safety, and Al D’Attilio, the human resources commissioner," McDonald said in a statement.

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ORIGINAL STORY:

Councilman Jim Kenney today issued a subpoena to Fire Commissioner Lloyd Ayers to testify before a City Council hearing tomorrow on the Fire Department's retraction of promotions for 14 officers.

Mayor Nutter's administration had offered to send Public Safety Director Mike Resnick to testify at the hearing. But in a letter to Ayers accompanying the subpoena, Kenney wrote that he wants the commissioner because "it was your discretion to demote these members." 

"I believe that your testimony is paramount to fully investigate the decision-making of the department you oversee," Kenney wrote. 

The dispute is about the department's decision to rescind the promotions of five captains and nine lieutenants after winning a Commonwealth Court decision earlier this year allowing it to do so. The administration, which says it has since promoted officers to those spots who tested higher on a more recent test, told the first group of employees that their promotions were subject to the court decision.

The firefighters union attempted to fight the in court. Now, union officials and Kenney are criticizing the department for holding a ceremony celebrating their promotions. 

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