Salem Reverses Decision to Appeal Workers’ Compensation Case to Oregon Supreme Court

Posted on September 26, 2023

Salem, Ore. — The City of Salem is withdrawing its petition asking the Oregon Supreme Court to review the case City of Salem v. Stadeli.

In a statement to the City Council on September 25, 2023, City Manager Keith Stahley directed the City Attorney to withdraw the petition to the Oregon Supreme Court to review the City of Salem v. Stadeli decision issued by the Oregon Court of Appeals.

“The Appeals Court has ruled, and we will accept that ruling and its operational and financial implications,” says City Manager Keith Stahley, “The Stadeli family will be compensated, our firefighters, and frankly firefighters throughout the state, can feel more confident that they and their families are protected from the ravages of cancer that disproportionately affect firefighters. With this decision, I hope we can start the hard work of repairing relationships that we damaged in this process.”

At the center of this case is the workers compensation benefit extended to the family of Maurice “Mo” Stadeli’s, a longtime firefighter paramedic for the Salem Fire Department who contracted tonsular cancer in 2018 and died in 2019.

“I’ve learned a lot about Mo over the past few weeks since this case came to my attention,” says Stahley, “Mo sounds like a great guy, a good father, a good community member, and a well-respected firefighter. Anyone who has served their community for 30 years deserves our respect. Mo has my respect. I’m sorry if the City’s actions have conveyed a different message – that was not our intention.”

The City of Salem recognizes that Workers’ compensation law and the facts of this case are complicated and dynamic and believe that, in this case, the right thing to do is to bring this process to an end.

City of Salem Challenges Firefighter Mo Stadeli’s Line of Duty Death

Updated for Immediate Release – Congresswoman Andrea Salinas joining Firefighters at the Salem City Council

Meeting Tonight

Salem, OR – Firefighter Maurice “Mo” Stadeli served the City of Salem for 28 years. In 2019, Firefighter Stadeli died in the line of duty from occupation related cancer.

Just a few days after Firefighter Stadeli’s name was placed on the IAFF Memorial Wall in Colorado Springs, the City of Salem has decided to appeal his court case to the Oregon Supreme Court. Firefighter Stadeli was diagnosed with tonsillar cancer in 2018 and fought a long battle until his death in 2019. Unfortunately, the City has opted to fight his widow, Tina, at every step. She prevailed in 2021 through the Oregon Appellate Court. On September 12, 2023, the last day the City could appeal, and days before leaving for Colorado Springs, the City appealed to the Oregon Supreme Court attempting to take away her much-earned benefits from his line of duty death.

Matt Brozovich, Salem Professional Fire Firefighters President, “This is all or nothing for his widow Tina. His estate was rightfully awarded a line of duty death benefit from the Oregon Appellate Court. If she loses that, she loses everything for a job that he loved and worked so hard for. Mo was a stand-up man, father, husband, brother and firefighter. To strip this away from his widow isn’t only wrong, it’s criminal. If I were to pass, I sure as hell would hope that my Sister and Brother fire fighters would stand up for my spouse, and that is certainly what we are doing in this case. For a city that quotes that “employees are their number one asset,” they need to start acting like it.

Firefighter Stadeli’s death was considered a line of duty death under Oregon’s Cancer Presumption Laws. It ensures that if firefighters contract a list of occupation related cancers, that is reasonably presumed it was due to their work as a firefighter, serving their community. Firefighters contract cancer at rates higher than the general population and cancer rates amongst firefighters are skyrocketing.

On Monday, September 25th, The Salem Firefighters, along with firefighters from across Oregon will show Salem City Council Meeting to let the City of Salem Leadership and City Council, the there is no confidence in them or their abilities to make decisions that support their firefighters and their families.

Oregon Congresswoman Andrea Salinas, whose Congressional District represents the Salem Area, will be joining firefighter from across Oregon this evening. Congresswoman Salinas will stand in solidarity to show support for the Stadeli Family and protest this unjust decision by the Salem City Council.


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