A firefighter is going after fellow smoke-eaters who he says slimed him with media leaks painting him as unfit for the job, the Daily News has learned.
Michael Johnson — an African-American "priority hire" who joined FDNY ranks in the wake of a fiery legal battle to diversify the department — is targeting fellow firefighters who teed up tabloid stories saying he ran away from his job when things got too hot. The Brooklyn federal lawsuit said FDNY Deputy Chief Paul Mannix and others in Mannix's now-defunct Merit Matters organization fed photos and personal information of Johnson to friendly media outlets.
The culmination was a May 2015 article in a city newspaper with a picture of Johnson outside a burning building. According to his detractors, Johnson was outside because he was too scared to fight the blaze.