Lt. Alvarado, of the D.C. Fire and Emergency Medical Services Department, faced disciplinary charges growing out of his decision to speak with Fox5 News in 2012 about a controversy over whether the Department should provide new jackets if it insisted that members must wear jackets with the Department’s new insignia. One of the charges was that he failed to obtain advance approval from the Department before speaking with the media, as required by a regulation. But an almost-identical regulation had been struck down by the federal court in a case of ours in 1990; somehow a new regulation with the same unconstitutional provisions was put back in the Department’s Order Book in 2005. We sent a letter bringing this to the attention of the Assistant D.C. Attorney General prosecuting the case before a Department Trial Board, with copies to some higher-ups. In response, the Department dropped that charge and another speech-related charge about which we had commented.
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