D.C. fire officials have discharged a former cadet who had been arrested twice last year on charges of intent to distribute drugs and have begun proceedings to fire another cadet who, they recently discovered, is not a U.S. citizen.
Kevin E. Steve, 23, was fired Sunday, according to fire department spokesman Alan Etter. He said the department was unaware that Mr. Steve had been arrested a second time until officials read about it in The Washington Times last week.
"It is incumbent on the member to notify the department of any pending criminal court action," Mr. Etter said.
He said the fire department does not have the resources to continually check the criminal status of its 2,000 members.
In October, Mr. Steve pleaded guilty in Montgomery County to misdemeanor charges of possession with intent to distribute marijuana and Ecstasy. He was given an 18-month suspended sentence and placed on two years' supervised probation.
Mr. Etter said Mr. Steve never informed his supervisors that he was arrested in Prince George's County two months after the Montgomery County arrest and charged with intent to distribute marijuana, a felony, and misdemeanor charges of marijuana possession and resisting arrest.
The judge in the case dropped the felony charge in exchange for Mr. Steve's entering a drug treatment program. The two misdemeanor charges were subsequently dropped.
Mr. Steve was reinstated by the department and returned to his assignment March 6.
He was assigned to Truck 2 in Northwest, the first-due company to the vice president's mansion at the Naval Observatory. Truck 2 routinely responds to helicopter landings on the grounds of the mansion.
Mr. Etter said the fire department also discharged former cadet Ismael Flores, 21, who was stationed at Engine 20 in Northwest. Mr. Flores was put on administrative leave pending termination March 17. His last day is April 1.
Mr. Etter would not comment on the reason for the firing, but sources within the department say that fire officials are asserting that Mr. Flores falsely wrote that he is an American citizen on his application.
The firing is being disputed, with Mr. Flores saying he submitted a copy of his green card to the department during the application process and that officials were aware of his citizenship status.
According to the District Personnel Manual, noncitizens are not allowed to work in uniformed positions, such as those in the police and fire departments. Noncitizens are allowed to work in the civilian emergency medical services division.
A federal grant aimed at underprivileged and at-risk youth that funds the department's cadet program also bars discrimination against noncitizens.