Last month, Orlando firefighter and local hero Joshua Granada was reinstated with back pay after he was wrongfully terminated for recording audio of Commissioner Regina Hill two years ago. A federal mediator has determined the termination should be vacated and Granada will receive back pay, except for 240 hours, and get his job back.
At the time, firefighters were called to the Penthouse Suite of the DoubleTree Hotel in August 2017. Commissioner Hill was found unresponsive surrounded by liquor bottles and cigarettes. Reports were that Commissioner Hill became very combative and verbally abusive once she was revived. Because of Hill’s behavior, Granada stated he recorded a short audio clip to prove the first responders were acting professionally and to avoid claims of wrongdoing.
The city then fired Granada for violating privacy “expectations” in a move supported by Mayor Buddy Dyer.
Forget the fact that Granada is a local hero who was one of the first responders to the Pulse nightclub terrorist shooting. Dyer didn’t care at all, and one theory was the city did not want to pay Granada workers’ compensation benefits for his post-traumatic stress disorder. Dyer also has complete control over the controversial and immature Commissioner, so it was not a surprise when he moved to protect her politically over a firefighter.
Well, in the end, what a waste of time and money – and what a failure of leadership at City Hall.
Granada’s recording is not even the only one of Commissioner Regina Hill “under the influence” while serving on the Orlando City Council. She recorded herself and posted it on social media, even if she doesn’t remember doing so: Elected Embarrassment: Video of Commissioner Regina Hill’s Bizarre Behavior. This video from Commissioner Hill raised many questions, so a few months later when she needed to be revived by firefighters before becoming abusive, that should have raised more questions about our elected official than our first responders.
“It was cursing, cursing, cursing, ‘I hate you. You’re trying to get me in trouble,'” Granada told local media at the time. “‘I hate all of you firemen,’ and that’s what I heard and I swear to you, I still didn’t know who she was.”
Now, Commissioner Hill is saying it’s “not over.” She is apparently out to get this Orlando firefighter. Who knows who else is on her target list, after all her scandals and secrets are widely known even if she believes she is hiding them. City Commissioners can be removed from office for drunkenness, but also for malfeasance, misfeasance, neglect of duty, and incompetence.
All of those remind us of Commissioner Regina Hill – and she knows it. Mayor Dyer knows it too, but he chooses to protect her politically as long as she remains a rubber stamp. This pawn of Dyer is not happy with the mediator’s decision but it appears she will have to deal with it for now.
Let’s hope the retaliation and targeting of our Orlando firefighters by City Hall comes to an end.