Former battalion chief files lawsuit after losing job over failed drug test

Reporter: Peter Fleischer
Published: Updated:

A former Collier County EMS employee was allegedly maliciously discriminated against when he was terminated.

A federal lawsuit was filed against the Collier County Board of Commissioners this week claims they fired an EMS command staff member without respecting his disability rights.

The 14-page lawsuit claims the board knew that former battalion chief John Beckman was dealing with a disability he was treating through a medical marijuana prescription.

But instead of being allowed to take the drugs as prescribed, records show Beckman was fired after 18 years working for the county and failing a drug test last September.

The lawsuit claims he should have been protected under the Americans with Disabilities Act. Beckman and his attorney say Collier County discriminated against him and acted with malice by firing him.

Now he’s looking for back pay, front pay, attorney’s fees and other compensatory costs.

WINK News also obtained a summons that informs the county that the lawsuit has been filed. They have 21 days after being served this summons to respond.

WINK News Investigator Peter Fleischer has reached out to Collier County and the board of commissioners for comment, along with Beckman and his attorney. So far, no one has provided any statement on the record.

Stay tuned to, WINK News App, streaming, and on-air for any new developments on this story.

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