Glendale City Council members lined up to receive the scarce COVID-19 vaccines when they first became available, and the head of the city’s Emergency Medical Services was demoted when he protested, according to a lawsuit filed by the former chief. .
Brian Julian, who remains a battalion chief at the Glendale Fire Department, says in the lawsuit that he lost his position as “EMS chief” and suffered a pay cut just eight days after he complained in January 2021 about the alleged cheating.
At the time, Julian was in charge of the city’s vaccination program, the lawsuit says.
Government rules then mandated that the vaccine be provided in phases only to the groups with the highest priority. Health personnel came first, followed by essential workers such as police officers, firefighters, bus drivers, and food providers.
On December 29, 2020, during the opening phase for healthcare workers, Julian was ordered by Silvio Lanzas, then the Glendale Fire Chief, to provide vaccinations to a City Council member and four department heads, who were not eligible, Julian’s retaliation complaint against the city alleges
Six days later, he says, Lanzas ordered Julian to provide vaccine doses to more council members and department heads, which Julian argued would be illegal.
Lanzas became “very angry” and raised his voice, Julián’s lawsuit says.
After his demotion, Julián “reported Lanzas’ unlawful order and subsequent retaliatory demotion” to the city’s human resources director, but no investigation was conducted, the lawsuit alleges.
City spokeswoman Solene Manoukian declined to comment on the lawsuit, which was filed last week in state Superior Court in Los Angeles County.