Ellen DeGeneres's Gift to Firefighters Raises Ethics Questions

Received warm gift for rescuing dog from icy Charles River

Ellen DeGeneres's Gift To Firefighters Raises Ethics Questions

Four firefighters who bravely rescued a dog from the freezing Charles River were forced to return a gift of Caribbean cruise tickets from talk show host Ellen DeGeneres because ethics policy limits the value of gifts they can receive to $50.

"It was a nice gesture on Ellen's part, and the firefighters were surprised by that, but state statute is very clear, so we FedExed the vouchers back to the Ellen show," Wellesley Fire Chief Richard DeLorie told the Boston Globe.

The team of firefighters appeared on "Ellen" Tuesday to talk about their rescue on Dec. 22 of a golden retriever that had chased a squirrel onto the ice and then fell through into the icy water.

"I love Boston [but] it's very cold there and I believe you deserve to go someplace very warm," the talk show host told Wellesley Fire Captain Jim Dennehy, Lt. Paul Delaney, Dave Papazian and Joan Cullinan.

The firefighters were allowed to keep the monogrammed orange life vests DeGeneres gave them. She included a doggie vest for Crosby, the rescued retriever. The chief told the Globe these are considered novelty items with only sentimental value.

The fire department allowed the show to pay for plane fare to transport the men to California for the show's taping.

"In this case, these guys were flying out Sunday and coming home right after the taping on Monday night," DeLorie told the newspaper. "That's not a pleasure trip; that's to promote a good public service story. and that met the test, in my opinion, that it was for more public than private benefit."

A spokeswoman at the Massachusetts State Ethics Commission cited confidentiality laws and declined to comment on the matter.

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abcstarfox

Limit the little guy....but politicians are never limited...........right?
They are too busy getting paid to screw everyone else.

April 04 2014 at 12:56 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
darwes1

If Ellen wants to make a gift for good deeds send the entire department, if not possible give $50 per departmental person in their name or to the post retirement fund for firefighters, etc. Go girl, spend thay money

February 11 2014 at 1:30 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
dfoster

I wish our politicians had similar limits on their "gifts".

January 22 2014 at 1:40 PM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply
threewire101

This constant reference to firefighters as hero's only leads to their over-inflated EGO'S. I assure you that the financial ABUSE, GREED and exploitation within firefighter organizations fueling their overtime, sick time and 24 hour A-B-C platoons schedules is enough to making a working person ill. So spare me the HEROISM designation anytime an animal is saved or given oxygen...it's their job. The perception that every innocuous ladder response is heroic , makes me want to hurl. What was once a noble civil service position, is inundated with high school grad demographics who develop a discipline to call in sick while fishing in Mexican waters so their on-duty brothers can make triple overtime pay...I mean this in a nice way.

January 20 2014 at 2:35 AM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply
5 replies to threewire101's comment
windspirit

Simple solution, give the tickets to a member of the firefighters family. The family member can then gift the tickets back to their love one aka the firefighter.

January 19 2014 at 9:38 AM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply
Ojitos

What a sweet act, Ellen. It's a shame the firefighters cannot accept the gifts. I'm a teacher, but will be laid off this coming summer and I will, then, lose my home of 22 years. It's nice, Ellen, when people notice the good that others do, and reward them spontaneously. Save some other animals, Ellen. Help a few dozen animals in the Animal Auschwitzs find forever homes. I'm sure the firefighters will love that, as well. Big hugs to you, Ellen, and animal supporters.

January 19 2014 at 5:31 AM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply
rockermn

Hey Ellen,I would sure like to be able to take my wife on a cruise. Send the tickets to me,I have safed a few people from car accidents and you can help me out that way,there is no policy in my book.

January 19 2014 at 4:59 AM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply
Craig

Wish all that complain about politicians would become one to change the image......easier to complain ....

January 19 2014 at 4:46 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Craig

They returned gifts due to policies.....I truly understand that.....
But regarding the issue that they risked their lives for the dog....that is their job.
Firefighters /Police Officers have made a choice to become F and PO ....I respect F and PO but lets not make them heroes. I know someone will say "and if you need them one day you'll be glad they are there" . Hopefully I won't need them....but will appreciate them if I do.....that is why we pay them....It is just like paying for insurance costs......I don't ever want to use it but have to pay for it "just in case I do".

January 19 2014 at 4:44 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
danicoinc

Well, I'd hate to see those tickets go to waste. Ellen, I am constantly doing mitzvahs so I am deserving of some recognition., and I sure could use a vacation. How about passing the tics on to me and my friends. We are not bound by any 'ethics' boundries, Let me know. I am available most any time to go and I'd also be glad to appear on your show and tell of all the good work we do at Temple Emanu-El in Tucson.

January 19 2014 at 4:43 AM Report abuse -2 rate up rate down Reply

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