City of Newburgh officials criticized for keeping firefighter on the payroll after failing training

News 12 is told that Rayquan Bryant first failed the Westchester Career Firefighter Academy last year – but in an unprecedented move, was kept on the payroll by city officials and allowed to try again.

Blaise Gomez

Jan 13, 2023, 7:20 PM

Updated 517 days ago

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City of Newburgh officials are facing criticism for keeping a council member’s grandson on the payroll for almost a year after he failed to pass training required to become a firefighter.  
News 12 is told that Rayquan Bryant first failed the Westchester Career Firefighter Academy last year – but in an unprecedented move, was kept on the payroll by city officials and allowed to try again.  
Department sources say Bryant, who is the grandson of high-profile Council Member Omari Shakur, was not allowed to respond to fires but continued to be paid his full $42,000 salary while performing various duties at the firehouse and studying for the academy.
Sources say Bryant's employment, however, has now been terminated by city officials after he failed his second attempt at the academy. 
Critics allege the city gave Bryant preferential treatment because of his grandfather’s position on the council. 
News 12 reached out to the city of Newburgh for comment but hasn’t heard back. 


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