Firefighter Arrested For Faking COVID Diagnosis, Spending Paid Leave On Vacation

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Caroline Kucera Contributor
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A Dallas firefighter was arrested after he allegedly lied about contracting COVID-19 and accrued over $12,000 while on sick leave. 

William Jordan Carter was charged with felony theft and booked into the Dallas county jail Friday, according to the Dallas Morning News.  

Carter secured paid sick leave after telling his employer his spouse tested positive for COVID-19 on March 24, according to an arrest affidavit obtained by the Morning News.  The affidavit was filed July 29, and written by Dallas police Detective Lee Allen.

A week after his wife’s “positive” test, Carter said his daughter also contracted the virus and was worried about her health due to previous medical issues. He received an extra week of time off, the Morning News reported.

Just two days before he was supposed to return to the office, Carter claimed he too tested positive for COVID-19, according to the affidavit. 

Dallas Fire Deputy Chief Lauren Johnson became suspicious and asked Carter for proof of his positive test result. Carter said he was not actually tested and therefore could not send documentation. 

He also failed to provide results of his family members when Johnson prompted him to turn over the tests, the affidavit read.  (RELATED: NBC News Spent Weeks Reporting On A Contributor’s Journey Battling Coronavirus – But He Never Had It)

When asked if any of the positive test results were true, the firefighter said, “I guess not.”

He cited “greed” as the reason for lying to his employer, the Morning News reported.

“Witness Johnson asked, ‘Just so you wouldn’t have to go to work?'” Allen wrote in the affidavit. “And he [Carter] said, ‘Yes.'”

After admitting to not telling the truth, Dallas Police reviewed Carter’s bank records and found that he and his family spent over $1,300 at a nearby indoor waterpark during the time he was on his paid leave. The family also spent money at a gift shop and a convenience store, the affidavit stated.

Carter received a total of $12,548.86 while he was on COVID-19 leave, according to the police report. The money came directly from the City of Dallas General Funds, which is collected from Texans’ taxes and fines, the Morning News reported. His absence spanned three payroll periods. 

Jim McDade, president of the Dallas Fire Fighters Association, confirmed to NBC News that Carter has been suspended by the department, and declined any further comment on the incident. 

As of Wednesday, he is no longer listed in the jail’s current inmate records.