A Holyoke firefighter who criticized the city's fire chief and mayor following a deadly apartment fire on New Year's Day in 2017 is getting a demotion and suspension that followed overturned.
Holyoke Fire Chief John Pond had argued to the civilian Fire Commission that John Cunningham, whose truck malfunctioned at the fire, failed to oversee the firefighters in his command, disobeyed orders and falsified reports.
American Arbitration Association ruled there was no evidence that Cunningham ignored orders or violated rules in responding to the fire.
The board said the city singled Cunningham out because, as head of the firefighter union, he criticized Pond and Mayor Alex Morse for temporarily shutting down an engine before the fire happened.
The Holyoke Mayor has yet to comment.