A fire chief in Florida has been ousted from his position for refusing to enforce a vaccine mandate on his firefighters.
“I said we have people on this list who should not be getting written reprimands because they are vaccinated,” Orange County Fire Chief Stephen Davis told Fox & Friends. “There are also people on this list who have applied for religious exemptions that should not be getting written reprimands and, yet, they were. When I challenged those things, they told me here is a direct order, you will do it. I said well this is unlawful and we can’t could this. So this is where we are sitting now and several weeks later I was terminated.”
Florida’s attorney General has responded to the news, possibly setting up a legal battle.
“Attorney General Ashley Moody today announced a legal filing of a brief in support of the plaintiffs in the Wheat v. Orange County case,” the AG’s office said in a statement.
“Attorney General Moody’s brief supports a challenge by several first responders against the county’s vaccine requirements for all county employees. The Attorney General filed the brief Wednesday, the same day the county fired the Fire Rescue Battalion Chief following the chief’s refusal to discipline firefighters who did not comply with the unlawful mandate.”
Moody lambasted officials for “abusing their authority.”
“These local politicians are abusing their authority and trying to ruin the careers of so many of our courageous firefighters,” she said. “While local leaders may be turning their backs on first responders, I will not. I am proud to stand with Orange County firefighters, and I want all of Florida’s first responders to know that they have an Attorney General who will fight for them.”