A Colorado fire chief who was terminated last year while on leave for post traumatic stress disorder is suing his former department for $1 million.
Former Black Forest Fire Rescue Protection District fire chief Bob Harvey is suing the district, the Black Forest Volunteer Fire Rescue Members Association and former El Paso County Sheriff Terry Maketa for defamation, emotional harm and wrongful termination.
Chief Harvey was the fire chief in 2013 during the Black Forest Fire, the most destructive wildland fire in Colorado history. The fire burned over 14,000 acres, destroyed over 500 homes and killed two people. The district, El Paso County, the state and Chief Harvey are being sued by property owners in US District Court over the fire.
According to news reports, Chief Harvey took time off in 2014 due to post traumatic stress associated with the fire, and was terminated for abandoning his job after he failed to communicate with the district for 11 weeks.
The fire district has already asked the court to dismiss Chief Harvey’s suit claiming he failed to file the action within 180 days of any “injury” occurring.