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Cowan to Aid Press Janitor In Job Fight

City Ruling 'Violates Fireman's Rights'


Discharged from the fire department because of part-time employment with the University Press, Fireman John Anderson of 22 Antrim St., Cambridge, will have the backing of Spencer M. Cowan, director of Harvard's publishing outlet, when he presses his reinstatement appeal.

Anderson has worked for the University Press as a janitor since the fall of 1948. Last week Cambridge Fire Chief John F. Collns discharged him after a hearing conducted by himself for violating an old departmental rule against outside employment while an active member of the force.

Cowan, as Anderson's "outside" employer, hopes that Anderson will regain his municipal job. He says Anderson took the job to augment his $65 a week income in order to provide for an ailing daughter.

"This is the first time that this rule has been invoked in years," Cowan declared yesterday.

He intends to appeal to Governor Paul A. Dever, on whose military staff he serves. "Instead of going on relief or into bankruptcy to take care of his family," Cowan added, "Anderson tried to do the right thing and work his way out of his difficulty."

Anderson feels that the ruling was "a violation of human rights" and contacted his lawyer. He will receive an appellate hearing from the Civil Service Commissioner.

Interviewed at home, Anderson said he did not realize the chief objected to outside work, and he has even heard rumors that Collins "used to drive a hack" on the side.

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