Fired Orange County Fire Rescue battalion chief sues the county

The former Orange County Fire Rescue battalion chief fired over reprimanding unvaccinated employees is suing the county. 

Stephen Davis says he filed a grievance with Orange County to try and get his job back – but was denied. 

Now, he’s taking Orange County to court. 

"They made a huge mistake by letting me go and they’re responsible for footing that bill," Davis said in an interview with FOX 35 Friday.  

His Whistleblower Complaint was filed April 18. It claims Davis was "illegally terminated" from his position. 

"They’re going to basically say this is under the guise of me being insubordinate and refusing a direct order when in all actuality, I was asking a question of concern because I had concerns for the policies that were in place in Orange County," he said. 

RELATED: Orange County battalion chief, fired for not reprimanding unvaccinated firefighters, works to clear name

Back in October, Davis says he was handed a list of firefighters to write up for refusing to get vaccinated against COVID-19.

He says he noticed errors in that list, such as people who had applied for exemptions, and brought those concerns to his supervisors.

"From the beginning, all they needed to do was just listen to me. They didn’t," Davis said. 

The lawsuit says Davis was warning his employer that they could break federal or state law by incorrectly issuing those reprimands. Instead, he was fired. 

He served 15 years with Orange County Fire Rescue and after all of this – he still wants his job back. 

"I’ve lost income. I’ve lost my retirement. I’ve lost medical," he explained. 

An Orange County spokesperson says the county does not comment on pending legislation. 

Davis now works as a firefighter in Lake County.