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Gay Firefighter Loses Fight Over Illegal Termination

In El Dorado County, amidst allegations of workplace discrimination, an Administrative Law Judge recently held that the termination of gay firefighter Paul Bado was valid for his alleged download and use of pornography on his fire station computer.

Administrative Law Judge Stephen J. Smith said that Bado’s dismissal was warranted and that he showed “poor judgment and indiscretion”. Another fireman was also dismissed for the same offense.

However, Paul Bado, who has worked for 16 years in the fire district, claimed that he was only framed for the pornography because he filed a discrimination and harassment suit against the district. He further alleged he did not download or view the pornography found on his hard drive as it was from an e-mail attachment that had automatically downloaded onto his computer.

In his lawsuit, he also alleged that over the years, he was continually subjected to ridicule, jokes, sexual innuendo, and was given prejudicial names. Although he lost the case, Bado said he will still appeal the decision.

Under the law, it is illegal to discriminate against an employee on the basis of his race, age, religion, disability and gender. In some instances, some states even specifically prohibit discrimination against a person’s sexual orientation.

Discrimination in the workplace is not only illegal – it is potential harmful to a company’s working environment. It is a toxic practice and can eat away relationships at work and foster unprofessionalism and destroy productivity.

Workplace discrimination should never be tolerated – for more information on what are the kinds of discrimination that can give rise to a civil complaint, read on at http://www.mesrianilaw.com/Civil-Rights-In-The-Workplace.html.

Posted in Employee Rights, Labor Laws, Wrongful Termination.

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8 Responses

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  1. MarkSpizer says

    great post as usual!

  2. Rick Nelson says

    Steven J. Smith, Administrative Law Judge, Office of Administrative Hearings, State of California.

    “..the evidence was clear that appellant was responsible for importing these images to his computer” (line 76)

    “The evidence that others may have had access to appellant’s password protected account and downloaded images to this account as well, actually, when all the evidence is viewed, furthers the conclusion that appellant and appellant alone was responsible for the nude male and male genitalia images.” (Line 77)

    “In addition, the evidence reveals appellant was responsible for the appearance on his District computer of two graphically pornographic email conversations, one of which has 32 or 33 exchanges, in which he solicited the very types of images found on his hard drive, and sexual encounters though placing personal ads on Craig’s List and , much earlier, on the Adult Friend Finders web site.” (Line 78)

    “There was no evidence that appellant ever reported the presence of pornographic images of any sort to anyone superior to him at the District.” (Line 79)

    “Appellant’s response to these allegations of his computer misconduct from outset through the evidentiary hearing was impressive only in its utter lack of persuasiveness and total unwillingness to accept any form of responsibility for his actions. His response to the allegations, particularly in his Skelly response and in his statements to the media, did reveal a good deal about appellant’s attitude toward his employment and employer, as well as his utter lack of insight regarding his conduct and its impact upon the District and the fire service. Unlike Mr. Norman and Mr. Buchmiller, who were also disciplined for their misconduct on this computer, appellant viciously struck out at the Chief, his peers and the District, attempting to shame them all in the media and through this action. He revealed that the passionate pursuit of his right to pursue his sexual proclivities and preferences were significantly more important than his employment, the reputation and public image of the District, or the welfare and dignity of his peers. His presentation from the outset of the matter, during the April 14, 2008 meeting with Chief Dekker, through the evidentiary hearing revealed he lacked any semblance of good judgment, prudence or willingness to abide by the rules of the District when it came to his use of the District’s computer to express himself. His approach to this investigation and the litigation has been entirely disingenuous and dishonest.” (Line 89)

    “Appellant is wholly and entirely unrepentant and continues to maintain his position that he “did nothing wrong.” There is thus no evidence of rehabilitation, as there can be no rehabilitation until there is credible and persuasive evidence of genuine recognition, repentance and a change based upon that recognition. Despite the great weight of the evidence adduced in this record, appellant continues to feel he has been wronged and has committed no misconduct. From such a position, it is impossible to conclude that there is no likelihood of recurrence if he were to return to work.” (Line 91)

    Mr. Bado is currently running for a position on the Garden Valley Fire District Board of Directors,

    as is James De La Cruz, his Registered Domestic Partner.

  3. Bill says

    Paul Bado is nothing but a turd-burgling piece of $hit. He and his f@g buddy can go straight to hell.

  4. Citizen Against Discrimination says

    Here is one more website i forgot to list regarding Garden Valley Fire Chief Bill Dekker’s criminal background.

    http://badcopnews.wordpress.com/2007/06/16/pine-strawberry-arizona-fire-chief-william-dekker-suspended-for-disorderly-conduct/#respond

  5. Rick says

    Citizen Against Discrimination C.A.D. Unintended abbreviation? I really don’t think so. Maybe your shrink can explain it to you.

    “A man whose behavior is unprincipled or dishonorable.”
    “a man who does not behave in a gentlemanly manner towards others”

    Just reinforces what the Judge had to say about you and your choices in life. Not your sexual preference, nobody really cares dude.

    Get off the “I’m gay and being persecuted” crap.

    Need I remind you,

    “Appellant’s response to these allegations of his computer misconduct from outset through the evidentiary hearing was impressive only in its utter lack of persuasiveness and total unwillingness to accept any form of responsibility for his actions. His response to the allegations, particularly in his Skelly response and in his statements to the media, did reveal a good deal about appellant’s attitude toward his employment and employer, as well as his utter lack of insight regarding his conduct and its impact upon the District and the fire service. ” “…appellant viciously struck out at the Chief, his peers and the District, attempting to shame them all in the media and through this action. He revealed that the passionate pursuit of his right to pursue his sexual proclivities and preferences were significantly more important than his employment, the reputation and public image of the District, or the welfare and dignity of his peers.”

    How’s the job hunting? I hear they need firefighters in Libya.

  6. Citizen against Discrimination says

    In response to the post by Rick, who is the current fire board chairman of Garden Valley Fire Department, You obviously know nothing about all of the evidence linking Fire Chief Bill Dekker,Assistant Fire Chief Linda Szczepanik and her close friend Jon wilson to illegal manipulation of the terminated employees work computer hard drive. You just continue to protect and ignore these extemely corrupt employees. You also allow current Fire department board member Dave Souza to post ads on several gay websites using Garden Valley Fire Department pictures in those ads in an attempt to hookup and have sex with young men. This seems to be some of the same false acusations you framed and terminated the gay fire captain over. Your such a hypocrite and evil person. Why do you continue to allow this Fire Board member to serve? Sorry but no job hunting is needed. A much better paying job with honest , law abiding, non homophobic fellow employees has been found. Readers need to go to http://www.gardenvalleyfire.com and read the truth about this extermely corrupt and mismanaged fire department in El Dorado county California.

  7. wildlandfire says

    Had the misfortune to work under Szczepanik some years ago on a large wildland. She and her team were the biggest bunch of bullies I’ve ever had to work for. She punished a crew for too many cases of heat exhaustion by pulling them off the line — only she had the WRONG crew. Many instances of finding good, hard workers, and singling them out for undeserved ridicule. I am not at all surprised that her department is corrupt. Disgusting. She should have been called out a long time ago.

    Mr. Bado, I’m so sorry for all you have been through. I do hope you eventually find justice.

  8. Citizen against Discrimination says

    Here’s more evidence of the ongoing corruption at the Garden Valley Fire Department in El Dorado County California. Go to this local Sacramento CBS television news story. http://sacramento.cbslocal.com/2012/02/15/auditor-calls-garden-valley-fire-chiefs-10-year-contract-outrageous/



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