May 21--SOUTH BEND -- A city panel Wednesday morning fired a former paramedic who admitted to stealing narcotic painkillers from a fire department ambulance last year.
Timothy Greenlee, 39, had pleaded for his job last week, but the city Board of Public Safety said Wednesday that his conduct betrayed the public's trust.
In its decision, the board said "the acts of firefighter Greenlee warrant severe discipline" because he committed a crime, neglected his duty and engaged in conduct that harmed the public peace and welfare and was unbecoming an officer.
Greenlee pleaded guilty in October to two felonies, theft and official misconduct, for stealing five vials of fentanyl, a powerful narcotic pain reliever, from an ambulance medication safe and replacing the medicine with saltwater in April 2013.
In March, a St. Joseph Superior Court judge treated the Class D felonies as misdemeanors and sentenced him to one year of probation.
Fire Chief Steve Cox recommended the firing earlier this year, but Greenlee demanded a hearing before the board.
Greenlee was silent Wednesday morning as board president Laura Vasquez read the decision. He then quickly left the room with his attorney. Both Greenlee and his attorney, Tom Dixon, declined to comment on the decision when asked by reporters.
At his hearing, Greenlee told the board that he overcame his addiction to pain medication after receiving treatment at Oaklawn Psychiatric Center, supported by his family.
"I love my job," Greenlee said. "I can return to be a better firefighter than I was before my addiction."
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