Deputy mayor defends leaving key facts out of public report on M - Fox 2 News Headlines

Deputy mayor defends leaving key facts out of public report on Mills death

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Deputy Mayor for Public Safety and Justice Paul Quander Deputy Mayor for Public Safety and Justice Paul Quander
Medric Cecil Mills (Photo courtesy of the Mills family) Medric Cecil Mills (Photo courtesy of the Mills family)
Medric "Cecil" Mills Jr. Medric "Cecil" Mills Jr.

D.C. Mayor Vincent Gray refused to answer any questions Friday about the investigation into the death of Cecil Mills and why key facts about the case were left out of a public report.

He instead steered all questions to the deputy mayor who wrote it.

As FOX 5 first reported Thursday, the public report released last week does not include an admission by a rookie firefighter that he was afraid he would lose his job if he ran to help Mills.

Mayor Gray wanted nothing to do with reporters’ questions about the internal affairs report. At a public event inside the Wilson Building, the mayor refused to discuss it and steered all questions to the deputy mayor for public safety.

In an interview Friday, Paul Quander defended the report released to the public, telling FOX 5 in an interview it was not “sugar coated.”

Quander says the fact the rookie claimed he hadn't been trained and was afraid to leave his post for fear of losing his job is not crucial to the fact no one in that firehouse went to help Mills when he collapsed across the street.

Click here for more coverage on the Cecil Mills death investigation

But first, we'll start with my attempt to get answers from the mayor.

As we first told you Thursday night, the rookie firefighter, Remy Jones, told internal affairs investigators he didn't know what to do when people came knocking at the firehouse door looking for help.

He also said he thought he could only ring the emergency bells at night, that he wanted to run to help Mills, but was afraid of leaving his truck a man short.

The internal affairs report also says the lieutenant in charge that day lied in her initial statement, and that 911 dispatchers were told Truck 15, in that same firehouse, was available to go on the call, but was never dispatched.

About the rookie, Quander said, "He is an employee and he has a duty station and you don't leave your duty station. So he called for help and when help finally came and when he said can we go over and assist, he was told essentially we have to let the lieutenant know and that's what they did.”

The deputy mayor also defended the rookies training.

"He received training,” said Quander. “He graduated from the academy, the same training as everyone else, and he responded in a way that may not have been perfect because he was supposed to have rung the bell. This was nothing that was sugar coated. I was thorough. I was meticulous.”

Quander says he did not include the fact the lieutenant lied in her initial statement because it was after the fact and not important enough to be included in the public report.

As to why Truck 15 wasn't dispatched when it was right across the street, the deputy mayor says the dispatchers were looking for paramedic units to go to the scene to help Mills and the personnel assigned to the truck were only EMTs.

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