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Lakeview Fire Department faces lawsuit

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Former Lakeview Fire Department volunteer firefighter Yonatan Klein filed a lawsuit against the Lakeview Fire District, in which he alleged harassment, among other issues.

Klein, of West Hempstead, filed suit on March 19 and alleged several civil rights violations and state law claims, including wrongful termination, violation of his rights under the first, fifth and 14th amendments to the U.S. Constitution; retaliation; intentional infliction of emotional distress; and creation of a hostile work environment in violation of the state law.

“I think that the complaint speaks for itself, as does the exhibits that were made a part of the complaint,” said Klein’s lawyer, Daniel Isaacs.

The complaint named the Lakeview Fire District, the Lakeview Fire Department; firefighters Fred Senti Jr., Fred Senti III; Chief James Galia, ex-Chief Michael Koppel and Commissioner Heather McNeill as defendants.

“A third party has also come forward,” Isaacs added, “and apparently, Frederick Senti’s anger management issues go back quite a few years and is well known to the fire department.”

Now a captain with the FDNY’s emergency medical services division, Klein joined the Lakeview Fire Department in 2011, and was elected lieutenant in 2017. The complaint alleges his issues began shortly after his election when he witnessed one member assault another member, and took part in an investigation of the incident.

Klien claimed that he was threatened and harassed by the member who committed the assault along with his supporters. He alleged that the threats persisted despite his complaints to the department leaders. Klein resigned from lieutenant in 2019, and was terminated from the fire department on Jan. 12.

As the Herald went to press on Monday, the Lakeview Fire Department declined to comment on the lawsuit, as the department has not received the suit yet.