By ADAM ELMAHREK and THY VO, The Voice of OC
Garden Grove officials are struggling to contain rumors that Mayor Bruce Broadwater’s son is close to being hired as a firefighter despite having failed a crucial interview with battalion chiefs for the position.
Jeremy Broadwater, who is also a Fire Department intern and a parks patrolman for Community Services, has received a conditional offer for a firefighter paramedic position, according to records obtained by Voice of OC. The 36-year-old Broadwater was one of 500 applicants and among 40 who made the eligibility list, records show. The hiring depends now on a background investigation.
For weeks, whispers that Jeremy Broadwater didn’t pass muster to be a firefighter but would likely be hired nonetheless, have roiled the department. Discord over such rumors led fire union President Scott Kuhlman to include concerns about “hiring practices” in an Aug. 28 letter to the fire chief, Kuhlman confirmed during interviews with Voice of OC.
The intent of the letter was to create a record showing that the fire union had no part in any inappropriate hiring, Kuhlman said.
“As the union president, I’ve just been so confused with rumors. We said, ‘Look, we gotta put something in writing,” Kuhlman said. “If, in fact, these are found to be true and validated, we want a letter protecting us.”
The fire union membership, however, directed Kuhlman to make the letter “personal” and shield it from public disclosure, the union president said. City officials denied a Voice of OC request filed under the California Public Records Act to obtain a copy of the letter, arguing that while a letter was sent to the fire chief on Aug. 28, it was personal in nature and therefore not a disclosable record.
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