For the first time, a Hillsborough County, Florida worker has been fired for gang activity under ordinances that prohibit county employees from being a member of organizations deemed criminal by the state or federal government. Those ordinances came after a series of reports in 2016 by WFTS-TV investigative reporter Jarrod Holbrook that looked at the involvement of firefighters with motorcycle gangs.
Holbrook’s coverage included information on the man fired today (Tuesday), Firefighter Clint Walker. According to Holbrook’s reporting, Walker “was an Outlaw for a couple of years” and is accused by county officials of having “continued loyalty to the gang.”
Hillsborough County officials fired a Fire Rescue medic Tuesday after an internal investigation concluded he had “unwavering loyalty” to the Outlaws Motorcycle Club — the state’s dominant biker gang.
UPDATE: @HillsFireRescue Firefighter Clint Walker has been fired for several policy violations including the county's anti gang directive. Our @abcactionnews investigation here.. https://t.co/zVzGBPoPIh
— Jarrod Holbrook (@JarrodHolbrook) January 16, 2018
Firefighter Walker’s firing comes a day after an interview with Holbrook aired (see video above). Walker believes the investigation by county officials is one-sided.
The firing is connected to Walker’s actions after the July shooting of his friend, James Costa. Costa is a former Hillsborough County fire captain and president of an Outlaws chapter. Costa was riding his bike on Highway 41 when he was shot.
News reports indicate Walker was serving a suspension for a Key West bar fight that occurred while he was uniform when he was contacted by another firefighter about the shooting. Walker rushed to the hospital to meet the rescue unit with his injured friend.
The investigation report says, without permission Walker jumped into the rescue and changed into his uniform to “gain unauthorized access and utilized his position as a uniformed firefighter for personal reasons or gain.”
But Walker has a different perspective.
“That’s incorrect, that’s a misrepresentation of facts. The fact is I wore a department shirt to show solidarity and brotherhood for a retired firefighter.”
While in the emergency room, Walker takes possession of Costa’s belongings, including his sacred Outlaws MC vest, which even Walker admits is not to be possessed by outsiders. Walker put the Outlaws clothing in his car.
The Outlaws vest was considered evidence for a shooting investigation. When a deputy asked Walker for it, the report states Walker refused to hand it over.
Another allegation Walker denies, “I did not refuse, all I did was redirect. There’s a big difference. I redirected her to speak to the owner of the belongings.”