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Hotshot’s widow releases statement on Prescott findings

PHOENIX — Editor’s Note: Juliann Ashcraft, whose husband, Andrew, was killed battling the Yarnell Hill wildfire, released the following statement Wednesday after Prescott said it did not promise full-time benefits to the hotshots nor could it afford to posthumously award the hotshots full-time benefits.

It has not been altered in any way.

Every day, it seems, the City of Prescott dribbles out a few more documents and fulltime fire fighter and, thus, that our four children and our family deserve nothing at all in benefits from the City of Prescott.

Let me again say what I have said all along: That beyond the City’s few sheets of paper, there exists a set of facts that speak to Andrew’s full-time work for the City of Prescott. Andrew averaged more than 70 hours a week working for the City for all of 2012. He held a supervisory position on the hot shot crew and he was given a raise to full-time pay in February of this year. He received verbal assertions that his promotion a done deal. And he filled what previously had been an approved full-time, fully benefited position.

We believe that a full accounting of the facts will show that Andrew served Prescott as a full-time employee and that he earned the right to be treated as one.

I’m sorry that the City of Prescott leadership feels it necessary to drag out this fight in the media, with one press release after another. I hope sometime soon they begin to respond with some compassion, instead of ignoring my repeated requests to meet and speaking to me only through press releases and negative attacks.