ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) – The City of Albuquerque and former firefighter Brad Tate have reached a settlement in the three lawsuits he filed against them.
Brad Tate was fired from the fire department a couple years ago, accused of providing inadequate patient care and bad record keeping.
Tate has long been a controversial figure in the department. He was in the news a couple times in 2004, arrested but never convicted, following two fights. One was outside of a restaurant, and another was outside a club. He was also the driver of a fire truck that slammed into a man who later died. The city was sued following the crash.
Tate first sued the city over IPRA violations after an investigation was opened against him. A judge sided with him, saying the city had withheld documents he was entitled to.
After he was fired Tate sued twice more, claiming he was improperly let go and discriminated against. Now the city’s settling those lawsuits for nearly $300,000. His attorney says that settlement shows his firing was not justified.
“I think that the city realized that their termination of Lt. Tate was wrongful, that it was based on a lot of made up information, a lot of made up exaggerations, and if they went to a jury they were going to lose,” said Attorney Michael Cadigan.
Cadigan says despite his client’s controversial past, this was about AFD’s problems, not Tate’s.
“If you’re a member of the club, if you don’t stick up for yourself, you get away with it, you get a slap on the wrist. But if you’re not a member of the club you get fired, and not only do they fire you, you destroy your reputation on the way out the door,” said Cadigan.
Under the deal, Tate will never be allowed to work for the city again. He’s now living out of state. His attorney says he is eager to move on, and that even if a judge had ruled he be reinstated, working for Albuquerque again was not in his plans.
In a statement, the city says the settlement was necessary given the costs of fighting the suits and the risk of Tate getting reinstated as a paramedic. They say making sure that didn’t happen was in Albuquerque residents’ best interests.