Fire chief wants employee fired, says he made threatening statements
Mount Prospect Fire Chief Brian Lambel is seeking approval from the village's board of fire and police commissioners to fire an employee he says has made threatening statements.
The complaint filed by the chief says that firefighter/paramedic Lloyd Miller, a 12-year veteran of the force who has been on paid administrative leave since January, said he would "kill some people" if he was not put on a list for promotion. It also says that his co-workers are afraid of him and that they had Facebook photographs of him firing a gun at a photo of Osama bin Laden.
Lambel said the charges will be addressed at a Thursday evening commission hearing and declined to comment beyond what's in the complaint.
Miller's attorney, Dan Herbert, called the charges "absurd" and said they were retribution for Miller's comments about the village when he sought election to a position with the firefighters union.
"The allegations here were concocted by the village in an effort to silence Mr. Miller, a highly decorated firefighter who has never been disciplined in his extensive years of service," Herbert said in an email.
Miller sought membership on the union executive board at meetings in November and December.
The complaint says that on Jan. 13, Miller told firefighter/paramedic Joseph Reschke he was unhappy with the decision to transfer him to a different station as well as with changes announced by the union president to the lieutenant's testing process, saying he will "kill some people" if he does not make the next lieutenant's list. The complaint said Reschke reported the incident and on Jan. 17 Lambrel placed Miller on paid administrative leave, pending a formal investigation.
Lambel also had Miller submit to a fitness for duty evaluation on Jan. 24. During the evaluation, Miller, who owns a handgun and a shotgun, both of which are reportedly stored in his Elgin home, insisted he never fired either gun, denied being a gun enthusiast and said he did not know the brand or caliber of either gun or the type of ammunition he purchased, according to the complaint.
However, Miller's co-workers presented Lambel with copies of six photographs copied from Miller's Facebook account showing him, among other things, holding a gun and shooting at a target photo of what appears to be Osama bin Laden, as well as standing alone in a picture displaying a large poster of bin Laden containing approximately 20 bullet holes in it, the complaint said.
The complaint states that Miller denied making the threats and that when shown the photos, denied being able to identify himself.