He appointed himself MOOB's, That's not how it works, why do you think the FDNY investigators were after him.<quoted text>
Michael Bellone is .... He was appointed an honorary fire fighter with the NYC fire dept. and was a Ground Zero recovery team member, with the World Trade Center Task Force.
PS: Plus he is a thief!
MEQUON - Michael Bellone, the self-proclaimed "honorary New York firefighter," who spoke to 100-200 people at Concordia University about the events of 9-11 is a "fraud," according to New York Fire Marshal Conrad Tinney.
Tinney was one of the fire marshals who arrested Bellone, 51, of Brooklyn, N.Y., on Sept. 27, for having an FDNY Scott air tank, harness, regulator and mask. He was charged with grand larceny, criminal impersonation and possession of stolen property, but the charges were later dropped after Bellone returned the items.
Bellone told FDNY investigators the equipment was given to his charity - Trauma Response Assistance for Children (TRAC) Team - but didnít tell FDNY fire marshals who donated the items.
"The charges may have been dropped, but the investigation is continuing," Tinney said. "We know he has a door off one of our engines destroyed in the attacks and some tools as well."
Bellone spoke Sept. 22 at a Concordia event organized by Student Life after an alum was in Oconomowoc during the week of Sept. 11 where Bellone spoke. It is unknown how much Concordia officials paid Bellone for his presentation.
"Concordia is very disappointed to learn that this presentation might not have been legitimate. Our students were very interested in the subject matter and obviously had we known what we know now about Michael Bellone we would not have allowed him to speak on campus," said Heidi Fendos, a spokesman for the university.
Tinney said he couldnít elaborate any more on the investigation, but said Bellone volunteered at Ground Zero as a "citizen" and as a "volunteer" and collaborated on a book about the experience, and later, displayed some of the equipment at speeches to schoolchildren and adults across the country.
"It wasnít until two years later that we began getting complaints about him," Tinney said. "We have one honorary firefighter and that is a child from the Make-A-Wish Foundation. Aside from the child, it is normally the chiefs and those above who are made honorary firefighters and he (Bellone) isnít one. Heís saying he was made an honorary firefighter by New York Fire Commissioner Nicholas Scoppetta. Thatís a fallacy."
After taking complaints, FDNY investigators questioned Bellone and discovered the breathing apparatus and other gear were missing from the fire departmentís Mask Service Unit since Oct. 1, 2001.
Three years later, Tinney said Bellone was warned to return all of the FDNY equipment he had in his possession.
"We figured common sense would prevail and he would stop on his own," Tinney said. "There were times when he would show up at different events wearing New York Fire Department gear."
Tinney said investigations revealed Bellone has given more than 700 presentations across the country.
"The bottom line is that I have a problem with individuals who prey on the emotions of the general public based on a tragedy," Tinney said.