Oct. 23--A probationary Milwaukee firefighter who was fired in the wake of an internal investigation into vandalism at an engine house wants his job back.
Nathan Fager said described himself as a "scapegoat," in an interview with WTMJ-TV. "I'm an easy termination for them to show they mean business," he told the TV station.
Fager and another probationary firefighter, Joseph Siegert, were dismissed, though a fire official said the decision was not related to the ongoing investigation that led to the suspension of nine firefighters, including Fager and Siegert.
Probationary firefighters can be fired without cause.
The vandalism occurred at Engine House 32 in the 1500 block of N. 30th St. during the Sept. 28 overnight shift, which was the last before many of the firefighters assigned there were to be transferred.
Fager told WTMJ that he was only a witness to the vandalism, but he declined to elaborate on what happened that night.
Fager wants the department to reinstate him and Siegert and is circulating a petition requesting that. Supporters already crowded a recent Fire and Police Commission meeting to defend both men.
Fager is a decorated former Milwaukee police officer, and his photo still hangs in the Police Administration Building lobby downtown alongside other Milwaukee Police Medal of Honor recipients. Fager received the award after he shot a man armed with an assault rifle who had just shot his police partner.
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