ORLANDO, Fla. - Orlando City Commissioner Regina Hill is furious that a federal arbitrator ruled that Josh Granada can have his job back with the Orlando Fire Department after breaking policy.
“I believe in second chances. But, this is a double slap in the face that the leniency I gave came back to haunt me with this arbitrator,” Commissioner Hill said.
Granada is one of several firefighters who responded to a medical call at the Double Tree hotel on August 27, 2017.
According to the legal documents, the crew found a woman lying on the floor, the room in disarray, littered with empty liquor bottles and burned cigarettes.
The documents say the patient woke up belligerent, yelling, “I hate firemen” and “Get your hands off of me." "Why ya’ll are trying to do stuff to me?”
The same document says that’s when Granada started a voice recording of the call “to protect himself and his team."
It then says moments later, the emergency crew discovered their patient was City Commissioner Regina Hill.
“It’s been traumatizing,” Commissioner Hill said.
She told The News Station that this happened on the anniversary of her daughter’s death.
After an investigation, Granada got fired from the Orlando Fire Department and charged with two felonies for recording part of the medical call.
Court documents show that in July, Granada entered a pre-trial diversion program to get the felony charges off of his record.
Commissioner Hill says she agreed to allow Granada to have that option.
“I have gotten a felony and I know how hard it is to overcome those obstacles,” Commissioner Hill said.
In his findings, the arbitrator wrote that he believed that Granada did not follow department policy when he recorded the call, but he does not feel that Granada broke the law.
Commissioner Hill takes issue with that.
“The arbitrator needs to take a second look at his decision because his decision did not have all the facts. He stated that this was more of a disciplinary case versus a criminal case because OPD had done a thorough investigation and did not come up with findings and neither did the state attorney’s office,” Commissioner Hill said. “He was charged with felonies.”
The arbitrator wrote that Granada’s employment is reinstated, but because Granada violated policy, he’ll be without pay for 240 work hours.
Granada will also be receiving back-pay, minus the 240-hour suspension.
Granada’s attorney in this matter, Fritz Scheller, told The News Station that Granada going through the diversion program, essentially wipes away the criminal charges.
Scheller says Granada is excited to get back to work doing what he loves, working as a firefighter.
Commissioner Hill tells The News Station she plans on appealing the arbitrator’s decision and that she’s still considering a civil lawsuit against Granada.