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NY Post
New York Post
22 Apr 2023


NextImg:FDNY Commissioner Laura Kavanagh absent at parking-garage collapse for ‘medical’ reasons

Fire Commissioner Laura Kavanagh did not show up at the parking garage collapse Tuesday because of medical reasons, officials told The Post.

Asked to explain her absence at the Financial District disaster, FDNY spokeswoman Amanda Farinacci said, “The Commissioner had a previously scheduled medical procedure this week.”

Farinacci said Kavanagh returned to work on Friday and “has events this weekend,” but declined to elaborate.

Chief of Operations John Esposito led the FDNY’s response to the crumpled four-story parking structure on Ann Street, which killed manager Willis Moore and injured five workers. Chief of Department John Hodgens is out on medical leave.

The embattled commissioner’s absence followed news that a 10th top chief, Thomas Currao, had requested demotion in the turmoil following Kavanagh’s demotion of three other chiefs now suing the FDNY.

Last Saturday night, she was loudly booed at the FDNY-NYPD hockey game at UBS Arena in Long Island.

On Thursday, Kavanagh’s first deputy commissioner Joseph Pfeifer held the weekly meeting with chiefs, and expressed regret for remarks he made to New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd, sources said.

Workers removing debris from the facade of the Ann Street parking garage collapse.
William Farrington

Fire Commissioner Laura Kavanagh.

FDNY spokeswoman said, “The Commissioner had a previously scheduled medical procedure this week,” when asked about her absence.
Paul Martinka

Among the comments, when asked by Dowd if the furor over Kavanagh’s actions was “a case of misogyny,” Pfeifer replied, “I’ve never experienced anything like that in my entire career.”

Pfeifer insisted his comments were “taken out of context,” according to people with knowledge of the meeting.

He said he was not criticizing any individual officers, but the FDNY as an institution.

Cars are piled on top of each other at the scene of a partial collapse of a parking garage in the Financial District of New York.

Cars are piled on top of each other at the scene of a partial collapse of a parking garage in the Financial District of New York.
AP

Two vehicles from the Ann Street parking garage collapse.

One person was killed and multiple others trapped Tuesday after the collapsed, officials said.

William Farrington

“The whole department is sexist and needs to reform,” Pfeifer was quoted as saying.

Pfeifer also apologized for saying that the chiefs who requested demotion could be easily replaced.

He suggested they rescind their requests as a “good first step” to heal divisions with Kavanagh, the sources said. But none agreed to do so.