News and Tribune

Clark County

June 26, 2013

Personnel file reveals Priddy had problems at work

He was demoted in 2009, stopped showing up for work last year

JEFFERSONVILLE — The personnel file of a former Louisville firefighter charged with seven counts of attempted murder and 11 other felonies, including killing a law enforcement animal during a Monday standoff with police has been released.

Through a public records request, the News and Tribune has obtained Joshua Priddy’s personnel file from his employment at the Louisville Metro Fire Department from 2000-12.

According to the file, Priddy was fired May 27, 2012, for not showing up for work at the fire division where he was employed on March 2, 5, 8 and 11. A memorandum included in the file read, “from March 2, 2012, until this date (May 17, 2012), Sgt. Priddy has been absent without leave from the division.”

According to the memorandum, Priddy was charged with a violation of the department’s rules and a hearing was set, but he never showed up for the hearing. A union representative present at the hearing said he was unaware of the hearing date and time. But in the three weeks preceding the hearing, no attempts were made by Priddy to reschedule.

“It would appear that Sgt. Priddy has abandoned his job with the division of fire,” according to a memorandum included in the file.

Three years prior to Priddy being fired from LMFD, he was demoted from captain to sergeant. According to his personnel file, Priddy was demoted for submitting a fraudulent trade report as part of an investigation and for giving a false statement to a supervisor.

The report and false statement were related to a community event at a Portland neighborhood church where Priddy was interviewed by a TV station and made negative comments about the recent closing of a firehouse. After the interview, Priddy was questioned by his superiors. He told them he was on trade with a member from another fire platoon. When the approved trade document was requested, he provided a forged form, according to the personnel file.

During an investigation on the matter, Priddy met with the then assistant chief and claimed that he was being retaliated against for speaking out to the media, that several firefighters were ordered to change their letters to incriminate him and that his supervisor had created a “hostile work environment.”

Priddy said that he would accept a five to eight day suspension for the falsification of documents if this “went away,” according to a memorandum in the personnel file. “He reiterated if this doesn’t go away, ‘there will be a civil lawsuit and media exposure on this issue.’”

A letter of no contest was submitted by Priddy related to the demotion.

The letter read, in part, “during the mentioned community involvement, I made several mistakes in judgment. My poor decision making was not motivated by malice for the division, but weighted by emotion and duress not normal to my character, but rather the result of life events occurring both at work and at home. This in no way excuses my behavior, it only offers an explanation as to why I made several poor decisions during this time period.”

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