WELLESLEY, Mass. (AP) — Four Boston area firefighters that talk show host Ellen DeGeneres rewarded with Caribbean cruise tickets for rescuing a dog from an icy river have had to return them because of conflicts with state ethics laws.
Wellesley Fire Chief Richard DeLorie told The Boston Globe that he has sent the cruise vouchers back because state ethics law prohibits firefighters from accepting gifts worth $50 or more. He called DeGeneres' gift a "nice gesture."
DeGeneres also gifted the firefighters monogrammed bedazzled orange life vests, including a doggie vest for the dog they rescued.
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DeLorie said the firefighters are allowed to keep the life vests, since they are considered a novelty item with no value other than sentimental, according to the Boston Globe.
"The Ellen show put their names on them and things like that, so there's no real value to the life preservers," he said.
DeGeneres gave the firefighters the tickets and life vests Tuesday on her show for saving a golden retriever named Crosby. The dog chased a squirrel onto thin ice Dec. 22 and plunged into the Charles River.
The fire department allowed the show to pay for plane tickets to the taping. The firefighters can keep the vests.