Ill. Firefighter Fired for Refusing to Take Drug Test

May 17, 2013

May 16--EAST ST. LOUIS -- An East St. Louis firefighter has been fired for refusing his chief's order to take a drug test, authorities say.

The East St. Louis Police and Fire Board voted unanimously Tuesday night to terminate Lt. Khari D. Sharp, 39, of Belleville, who had served the department for about 10 years.

Fire Chief James Blackmon said Thursday that Sharp refused an order to take a drug test in March after Blackmon learned Sharp had been charged with marijuana possession in Texas. Authorities seized drugs and cash during an arrest March 10 east of Amarillo.

Sharp's refusal to take the drug test March 14 violated the department's contract with the firefighters union, Blackmon said.

Brandon Walls, president of East St. Louis Firefighters Local 23, said Sharp's firing is "unfortunate," but he declined further comment.

Copyright 2013 - St. Louis Post-Dispatch

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