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Suit: Fired staffer doubted 9/11 memorial safety

Associated Press Modified: October 5, 2012 at 7:16 pm •  Published: October 5, 2012
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Police have a heavy presence throughout the area near the trade center site.

His boss told him it wasn't his job to worry about security at the screening room garage, according to the lawsuit.

"Here he is, as the director of facilities, and has a right to be concerned about the issues," said his lawyer, Douglas H. Wigdor.

This year, Cancelliere told his supervisor the fountains' disinfecting system wasn't built properly, and the water contained bacteria that cause Legionnaire's disease, Cancelliere's lawsuit said.

People can get the disease from breathing in contaminated water vapor, though most people exposed to the bacteria don't become ill, according to the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Cancelliere's boss said the issue would be handled, but nothing was done, the suit said.

Frazier said Legionnaire's bacteria was never found in the water. He said an algae problem was resolved and posed no danger. "The water is perfectly safe," the spokesman said.

As for the exit gates, Frazier said they had passed muster in a roster of regulatory reviews.

Cancelliere's lawyer said he was confident all the allegations would be proven.

Cancelliere's troubles came to a head after two memorial security guards complained this fall that the screening room was overcrowded and badly ventilated, the lawsuit said. Cancelliere says he told superiors the complaints were on-target, and he recommended air tests, crowd control and other measures.

He was told the issue was being resolved and he shouldn't worry about it, according to the suit. When Cancelliere pressed, he was chastised that he needed to "get along better" with his colleagues, his suit said. He was fired about two weeks later.

Through his lawyer, Cancelliere declined to be interviewed.

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