Saturday, May 11, 2013

St. Paul firefighter, combat veteran fired after hiding DWI

St. Paul firefighter, combat veteran fired after hiding DWI
By Mara H. Gottfried
Posted: 05/10/2013

A combat veteran diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder -- who once praised his fellow St. Paul firefighters for helping him to pull through dark days -- has been fired from the department.

Billeigh Riser Jr. lost his driver's license after DWI arrests but didn't tell anyone. He went on to drive an ambulance on 63 medical calls before he was caught, according to an order last month from the St. Paul Civil Service Commission, acting as the city's Veterans Preference Board, which upheld his termination.

A psychologist hired by Riser's attorney testified that Riser's post-traumatic stress disorder was "severe" and that his failure to report the loss of his driver's license to the fire department, as required by city policy, "was due to the impact of PTSD on his ability to make good decisions," said the board's findings of fact.
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