Demoted Denver firefighter tried to pass off hot tub, leather sofa as medical expenses

A Denver Fire Department lieutenant who fell through a floor and broke his hip while fighting a fire in 2016 subsequently tried to pass off purchases of a hot tub, stove, specialty mattress and seven-piece leather sofa as medical expenses, according to an April disciplinary action letter from the Denver Department of Public Safety.

Lt. Demetrius Granado was demoted to the rank of firefighter first-grade and technically fired for his actions — although the firing will not take effect if he does not violate the fire department’s rules for two years.

Granado was injured while fighting a fire on Jan. 12, 2016, and had to have his right hip replaced in early 2017, according to the letter. After his injury in 2016, he filed worker’s compensation claims in excess of $17,600 in home improvement and furniture expenses — including a $3,700 bill which Granado initially claimed was to install a concrete slab to hold the hot tub but later admitted included other home improvement projects.

He also spent $4,500 on a four-person hot tub, $3,200 on a stove, $2,100 to convert that stove’s hookups from electric to gas in order to accommodate the electrical requirements of the hot tub, and $3,900 on a king-sized specialty mattress and sectional sofa, according to the letter.

Granado claimed all of the expenses were directly related to his medical recovery, and presented a prescription from his doctor to support his claim. The prescription said that a “medical bed or spa would be of benefit to his current medical condition,” according to the letter.

When questioned about the prescription, the doctor said Granado asked him to write it, and testified during worker’s compensation proceedings that the items were not medically necessary, according to the letter. A second doctor testified that the hot tub and mattress Granado bought did not “qualify as a medical bed or medical spa.”

An administrative judge also found that Granado exaggerated the miles he traveled during his recovery and asked to be reimbursed for driving 4,775 miles when in fact he only drove 4,257 miles.

Granado demonstrated a “serious lack of ethics, character and judgment,” and his behavior was “unreasonable, deceitful and dishonest,” the disciplinary letter said.

In an interview with internal affairs investigators, Granado maintained that all of the purchases were medically necessary and based on the advice of his doctors, according to the letter.

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