ALBUQUERQUE, NM (KRQE) – The Albuquerque Fire Department dispatcher who infamously hung up on a 911 caller is now suing Bernalillo County after losing his new job.
Matthew Sanchez quit his job in 2015 after the release of the 911 call in which he hung up on a teenager who was trying to help 17-year-old Jaydon Chavez-Silver, the Manzano High Schooler killed in a drive-by shooting.
It was a year later when he was hired as a dispatcher for the Bernalillo County Fire Department on August 8, 2016, but was fired just a few days later.
In a lawsuit filed against the county on July 26 of this year, Sanchez claimed he was qualified for the county job, but was unfairly fired.
While the county won’t comment on pending litigation, the lawsuit cites District 5 County Commissioner Wayne Johnson as a cause.
“I reached out to the county manager and public safety director and expressed my concerns over the hire,” Commissioner Johnson said.
The lawsuit alleges Johnson used his influence in Sanchez’s firing by emailing his concerns to the county’s HR department.
“At no time did I ever direct an outcome,” he stated.
His concerns stem from that 2015 incident.
Johnson sent KRQE News 13 what he said is a copy of that email. It reads in part: “No matter how well a cadet tests out, you cannot overlook the callus (sic) disregard for human life and a person in need demonstrated by his decision to hang up on a caller.”
The lawsuit claimed Sanchez has suffered serious psychological injuries as a result of his firing.
His attorney, Leon Howard, did not return calls for comment Monday.
UPDATE: As of Tuesday, KRQE News 13 has learned Matthew Sanchez and Bernalillo County agreed on a settlement of $25,000.