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Beachwood City Council president 'deeply concerned' about firefighter cancer benefits denied to Palumbo family

Posted at 5:05 PM, May 03, 2019
and last updated 2019-05-03 18:42:46-04

BEACHWOOD, Ohio — After our exclusive investigation revealed Michael Palumbo's family is fighting for benefits under the Michael Palumbo Act, Beachwood City Council's president said he is "deeply concerned" about their ordeal.

Read our exclusive report: Palumbo family denied firefighter cancer benefits under Palumbo Act

In a statement, Brian Linick wrote that he will request information about the City of Beachwood's ongoing battle with Chrissy Palumbo, Mike's wife, from the mayor and administration. Palumbo worked for Beachwood for 25 years.

Palumbo passed away from brain cancer in May 2017 after his story helped sparked a change in state law that allows firefighters to receive occupational cancer benefits.

Linick said he was unaware Beachwood's administration was fighting the Palumbo family's claims for Palumbo Act benefits.

Here is Linick's full statement:

"On behalf of Beachwood City Council I wish to express our deepest gratitude to Captain Palumbo's family for his years of dedicated service to our community. He was a valued member of our community and we all share in the sadness of his loss. As City Council does not typically get involved with worker’s compensation claims we have not been involved with the details of this matter. With that said, understanding what Mrs. Palumbo and her family have gone through, and continue to go through, is deeply concerning. As a result I have requested the Mayor and City administration fully apprise City Council on this matter from its inception to the present."

Willowick's mayor, Rich Regovich, also responded after watching our report. Palumbo worked part-time for Willowick, his hometown, for 27 years.

During the report, Regovich refused to answer questions about his city's decision to fight Chrissy Palumbo's claim for Palumbo Act benefits.

In a statement today, Regovich said he stands by his statements that he is unable to comment due to the pending litigation.

He said Michael Palumbo's loss was "devastating," and there are complicated issues with his case and it would be "inappropriate" to comment further at this time.

Here is Regovich's full statement:

“I would like to thank you for reaching out to me regarding the pending Captain Mike Palumbo case with the Bureau of Workers Compensation. Captain Mike Palumbo was a highly regarded firefighter and leader with a long history at the Willowick Fire Department. His loss has been devastating, not only to me, but to all those that work in the Fire Department and to the residents of Willowick the city he grew up in. There are many complicated issues with this case beyond his medical condition. As this matter is pending, it would be inappropriate for the city to provide further comment.”

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