Firing of N.M. medic for "extreme rudeness" approved
The firing came after a string of complaints; in one Lt. Brad Tate allegedly dismissed a teen's stomach pain that turned out to be a ruptured appendix
By Dan McKay
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — The city’s personnel board this week upheld the firing of a 10-year paramedic who was accused of “extreme rudeness” to patients and other misconduct, according to the city attorney’s office.
Lt. Brad Tate was fired last year, but his termination ended up before the personnel board this week after an appeal.
The board voted 4-0 on Wednesday to approve the termination, Assistant City Attorney Rebecca Wardlaw said.
Tate’s attorney, Michael Cadigan, a former city councilor, contends Tate will be vindicated on appeal.
Wardlaw said the city pursued Tate’s termination after “an investigation due to a number of complaints regarding his conduct that covered several different areas, including extreme rudeness to others, such as staff at Albuquerque Ambulance and patients.”
There were also allegations of falsifying documents and “conduct that would constitute medical malpractice,” she said.
Cadigan said the city has illegally persecuted Tate.
“We will appeal the city’s decision to District Court and are confident that Tate will be vindicated when he has a neutral judge to review the city’s unfair and arbitrary action,” Cadigan said Thursday. “The taxpayers will likely have to pick up the tab for this absurd witch-hunt, which the city is using to distract from ongoing issues of discrimination and sexual harassment in the Fire Department.”
The city had to pay Tate over $39,000 after a state district judge ruled the city had violated the state Inspection of Public Records Act, Cadigan said.
The records lawsuit came after the city “refused to let Tate see the documents that the city used as evidence against him,” Cadigan said.
Tate also has a civil-rights suit pending against the city.
Among the allegations was a complaint from a fellow Fire Department lieutenant concerned about how Tate had treated his teenage daughter. Tate was accused of dismissing signs that the stomach pains might be serious. It turned out she had a ruptured appendix.
The incident led to the city’s settlement of the family’s claims for $49,500.
©2014 the Albuquerque Journal (Albuquerque, N.M.)