An Orlando firefighter fired last year for a positive drug test was given his job back last week, after he argued the cocaine in his system was a result of drinking a tea made with coca leaves, an internal investigation shows.
The positive drug test results, recorded during an annual physical exam in December 2017, prompted the Orlando Fire Department to fire Kevin Reynolds two months later, according to documents released this week in response to a Jan. 4 public records request.
He was found to have committed two violations: use of intoxicants or drugs and a general order on drug and alcohol testing. The policies prohibit department members from using illicit drugs “at all times on or off the job,” the order states.
Records show Reynolds told investigators he tested positive for cocaine because he drinks coca tea, which is consumed in South America to combat altitude sickness.