9/11 widow unable to claim victim's compensation

JERSEY CITY - The widow of a Jersey City police officer says the federal government is denying her victims' compensationfor her husband's Ground Zero-related death.

Rose Marie Fitzgerald says her husband Joseph was called to work at the World Trade Center on the day of the 9/11 attacks. Fitzgerald says he had a pre-existing respiratory condition that worsened after he was exposed to the smoke and debris from Ground Zero.

The city claims it has no record of her husband working on the pile that day, so she hasn't been able to prove to the federal government that she and her family are entitled to assistance.

According to a Jersey City police spokesperson, officer Joseph Fitzgerald was not paid overtime in the weeks following Sept. 11 for work performed at Ground Zero. The spokesperson says this doesn't mean Fitzgerald was not there, but says it means he was not required by the city to be there.

Fitzgerald died of pulmonary illness two years after the attacks.

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