Diane Cotter
6 min readOct 14, 2022



My complaint reads as follows:

Years ago I began reaching out to Massachusetts AG Maura Healey on an issue I fought tooth and nail for. Something I began elevating in 2017, thinking I’d have in my possession for about two weeks because after all — I had now contacted the UNION. That didn’t happen till January 2021.

David Ferry’s 8 page spread in Men’s Health Magazine of September 21' puts as much into our crusade as a magazine article can allow.

This complaint is about how I perceive Beacon Hill works. You see, I thought AG Healey’s office would take on the fight for me. I bombarded her office with emails and calls. I was strung along for a few years with responses like: ‘thank you Diane, or ‘we see this as an environmental issue’…

But that changed when, after one particularly revealing email, exposing union corruption, and that I feared for my life, the response from AG Healey would be, “call 911”.

Why would AG Healey not take this issue on? I began emailing her and her staff in 2018. Over the years I’ve had maybe 3 calls with her staff. No communication from AG Healey in response to the 193 emails to her and her high ranking officers. I attribute that up to the fact that she may have been advised to have no contact with me as a direct order from then GP Schaitberger who’s arms reached Massachusetts.

She had no interest in hearing my findings. None. No effort was made on the MASS AG’s office to investigate my claims. The reason I know this is because I wanted to relay evidence of corruption I had been trusted with. I gave examples that should have sounded 9 alarms. No one in the AG’s office wanted to hear about the corruption. There would be no call from Healey’s office to interview or question me. I had evidence of who knew what and when they knew it, and what they were doing about it.

In the end firefighters did what she never did. Massachusetts firefighters are suing the gear manufacturers and the AFF makers for their cancers. And we did it without any help from the AG.

I wish to file seeking an investigation into the inactions, along with any discovery of coverups, burying, and collusion with union leader(s) Harold Schaitberger and any of his officers. Why no help would come from our AG while I exposed the collusion within the Schaitberger IAFF and chemical and gear giants.

To that end, I would spend years fighting with a small army that grew to an undeniable movement. At one time the fight would get so difficult I would fear for my life, and at one extremely low point in this war I would consider taking my life. Shunning, bullying, and fighting savagely would do me in. The pain inflicted on me by my husband’s own union nearly cost me my life. To this day I am at a loss for words as the wound is so deep it is burst wide open with barely a scratch. These words are very difficult to look at. I pleaded for her help. Literally. She did nothing.

Why now?

Because, in addition to these events:

… it very recently became apparent that a very concerted effort was in force to ‘vilify’ me — that literally took place in the Washington DC office of the IAFF.

This is Chief Bobby Halton:

During a July 2022 interview with film producer Elijah Yetter-Bowman who produced our documentary, ‘BURNED’ and Dr. Graham Peaslee on the Fire Engineering Podcast — Humpday Hangout, with Frank Ricci and Pj Norwood, Bobby made this statement regarding my fight:

In closing, I believe that in 2018 when I began contacting Mass AG Maura Healey, she reached out to leading union officials who persuaded/limited her ability to discuss this matter openly. She did not act on the nearly 200 emails loaded with studies and information I provided. She may have taken the word of a union boss under DoJ and FBI investigation right now.

Labor leader Harold Schatiberger had his hands in well, everything the IAFF touched he considered it ‘his’

… and he was going to control the propaganda, the dialogue and the direction of this fight. That would finally change in January 2021.

When Edward A. Kelly was elected as General President of the IAFF, on day ONE he would come out swinging on this horrifying issue.

Harold Schaitberger never once said a word on this IDLH matter publicly. Not one word.

Neither has Maura Healey. The irony is she is suing THE SAME manufacturers (sans gear manufactures) for PFAS in AFFF.


We are owed an investigation. Why did Maura Healey not act?

In 2019 an Emmy Award winning Boston Broadcaster spoke at length with Maura Healey about this issue. Maura Healey asked her staff to call me. I advised I had been in contact with Healey’s office for months already. How does this happen? WTF is going on here?

Two? Three? years ago I organized a conference call with her Chief of Staff, her enviro attorney, and I had with me four POWER houses who I won’t name here. The call was 45 minutes. We spoke AT LENGTH about this issue. Wouldn’t you think Maura Healey heard about this call? Particularly as we had … ahem, POWER HOUSES on the call???

As recently as Summer 2022, mere weeks ago, Healey still has not acted on this issue. Not so much as opened a case.

Conflict of interest statement: I am supported by and support the work of politicians from both sides of the isle. After 30 years as a registered Democratic, I became Independent.


This is the story of Diane Cotter, the spouse of a firefighter whose persistence revealed significant exposure to forever chemicals affecting the fire community.


dc 10.13.2022



Diane Cotter

A very private individual who fell into a very public rabbit hole of epic proportions. I call it the #greatestdeceptionever - really, EVER.