DAYTON-AREA FIREFIGHTER GEAR COMPANY CHIEF EXECS STEP DOWN

DAYTON — Bill and Mary Grilliot have left Total Fire Group/Morning Pride Manufacturing, a provider of firefighter and first-responder gear, a spokesman with Honeywell Life Safety said Tuesday Aug. 25.

The spokesman, Jim Green, would not give a reason for the Grilliots’ departure, saying only they left earlier this month. Honeywell acquired the Dayton-based company in May 2008.

Bill Grilliot was president of Morning Pride while his wife Mary was chief operating officer.

Taking the reins as president of what is now Honeywell First Responder Products is Dayton native Jeff Morris, Green said.

Honeywell First Responder is based in Dayton. Morris, who also is president of Honeywell Electrical Safety, will be based in Bolingbrook, Ill. Morning Pride also is a brand name for first responder gear. Honeywell First Responder is now the name for what was Total Fire Group, Green said.

While Honeywell is giving no reason for the leadership change, an attorney in Chicago is saying his client defeated Morning Pride in a recent legal action.

Attorney Daniel Herbert says his client, a retired Chicago firefighter, won a defamation lawsuit against Morning Pride in the Circuit Court of Cook County July 29.

Michael Scianna, a retired Chicago Fire Department battalion chief, won the decision against Morning Pride after a week-long trial, Herbert told the Dayton Daily News.

Herbert contends that Mary Grilliot “submitted a series of complaints” against Scianna after Scianna was involved in a Chicago Fire Department decision that awarded Lion Apparel — also a Dayton-based company and a Morning Pride competitor — a city contract for firefighter gear.

Based on what he said were Mary Grilliot’s complaints, the fire department investigated Scianna and cleared him of misconduct, Herbert said. Scianna sued Morning Pride for “libel and defamation,” Herbert said.

Morning Pride was ordered to pay Scianna $210,000 plus costs, Herbert said.

Herbert declined to draw a direct link between the outcome of the legal action and the Grilliots’ decision to leave the company, but he added, “You can’t argue the timing of it.”

The Grilliots could not be reached for comment. Messages were left for Bill Grilliot’s assistant at Morning Pride.

Asked if Honeywell assisted in Morning Pride’s defense, Green said his company doesn’t discuss litigation. He added that the “alleged misconduct” happened before Honeywell acquired Morning Pride.

Morris, who attended Archbishop Alter High School, has been president of Honeywell Electrical Safety since 2007, Honeywell said. Morris was not available for immediate comment.

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