Coked-up firefighter thinks firing was unfair (Opinion)
Antonio Cruz clearly has no regrets.
He was a Newark firefighter who had a history of being late to assignments and and always tired and sleeping. Read Sergio Bichao's shocking story, based on an appellate panel decision, of how a crew had to waste time looking for him before taking off without him to get to an emergency call.
In June of 2016 he failed a drug test, which showed not only alcohol in his system but illegal psychiatric drugs as well as cocaine. He was fired from his job yet he fought this every step of the way claiming his substance abuse was not "sufficiently egregious" to bring about dismissal.
Really Antonio? What the hell is more egregious than being passed out when there's an emergency call and you make the entire crew late in responding? Did someone have to actually die before you would admit you were a failure?
This case kept being kicked up the ladder and this week a three-judge panel made the decision his conduct was sufficient to justify his firing. Antonio has argued that his firing was disproportionate and shocking to one's sense of fairness.
I wonder if he'd feel that way if it were his own home burning down. After all that stash of cocaine would go up in the blink of an eye!
Here we're arguing over whether his mere firing was justified when this clown ought to be in prison for illegal drugs and endangering the public. You got off easy Antonio. Why don't you cheers to that?
This article has been updated to reflect that the crew referenced above was responding to an emergency call, but not a fire, as stated in a previous version of this post. It also corrects a misstatement about judgments in earlier stages of Cruz's appeals.
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