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Firefighter on leave after allegedly showing up drunk to work

Posted at 7:26 PM, Jun 03, 2015
and last updated 2015-06-03 19:26:57-04

PETERSBURG, Va. -- A captain with the Petersburg Fire Department whose coworkers thought he showed up to work intoxicated is on unpaid leave pending an administrative hearing next week.

Jay Ell Alexander, Petersburg's public information officer, said the fire employee reported to work over the weekend "that did not follow the personnel policy."

Officials said a supervisor contacted the police who administered a breathalyzer.

"The policy is any type of intoxication, while at work, anything that would hinder your performance at work that is part of the policy," Alexander said.

This is the third Petersburg firefighter in the past several months off the job because of a personnel issue.

The firefighter, while not charged with a crime, is now on unpaid leave pending a hearing scheduled for next week. That's when the captain could face a reprimand, suspension or termination.

Sgt. Donnie Bish, a retired firefighters who spent 35 years with the Petersburg Fire Department, hopes the news does not stain the department.

"We have some excellent people that were in the Fire Department when I was there and still an excellent group of firefighters now and I really hate the public view of the fire department in Petersburg has been tarnished so bad," Bish said.