Dispatcher that hung up on 911 caller loses job

Posted at 7:51 PM, Aug 08, 2017
and last updated 2017-08-08 19:51:55-04

ALBUQUERQUE, NM (KRQE/CNN) - The 911 dispatcher who hung up on a 17-year-old girl trying to help a shooting victim is now suing the county that hired him after that incident.

He said a county official had him fired even though he was qualified to do the job.

In the lawsuit, Matthew Sanchez, the fired dispatcher, claimed he lost his job because of negative media coverage and an email sent by County Commissioner Wayne Johnson.

Sanchez hung up on a teenager who was trying to help 17-year-old Jaydon Chavez-Silver, the Manzano high school student shot and killed in a 2015 drive-by.

He quit the Albuquerque Fire Department after that 911 call came out.

A year later, he was hired as a dispatcher for the Bernalillo County Fire Department, but fired just a few days later.

In his lawsuit, he claimed he was qualified for the county job, but was unfairly fired.

While the county won't comment on pending litigation, the lawsuit cited County Commissioner Wayne Johnson as a cause.

"I reached out to the county manager and public safety director at the time and expressed my concerns over the hire," Johnson said.

The lawsuit alleged Johnson used his influence in Sanchez's firing, by emailing his concerns to the county's human resources department.

"At no time did i ever direct an outcome," Johnson said.

His concern stemmed from that 2015 incident.

Johnson sent local news station KRQE what he said was a copy of that email.

"No matter how well a cadet tests out, you cannot overlook the callous disregard for human life and a person in need demonstrated by his decision to hang up on a caller," the email read.

Copyright 2017 KRQE via CNN. All rights reserved.