State upholds firing of Paterson firefighter for failing random drug test | Paterson Times

State upholds firing of Paterson firefighter for failing random drug test


The New Jersey Civil Service Commission has upheld the firing of a Paterson firefighter after he failed a random drug test.

Eric Beagin had higher than acceptable level of Oxycodone in his system a random drug test revealed. He was suspended on Aug. 13, 2015 for being “unfit for duty” and conduct unbecoming a public employee. He was later fired.

Beagin appealed the decision with the New Jersey Civil Service Commission questioning the reliability and trustworthiness of the drug test at the New Jersey State Toxicology Laboratory. He also raised doubts about the interpretation of the results by the lab.

A judge issued an initial decision in his favor in Oct. 2019 after hearing testimony from a pair of toxicologists. However, municipal officials urged the New Jersey Civil Service Commission to reject the judge’s initial decision.

On Dec. 4, 2019, the New Jersey Civil Service Commission did not adopt the recommendation of the administrative law judge. Rather, it upheld Beagin’s termination. Had the judge’s decision been adopted the case would have had immense ripple effects throughout New Jersey, municipal officials said.

Beagin was hired as a firefighter in Mar. 2009, according to municipal records.

“We always believed the system would work,” said public safety director Jerry Speziale.

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  • DemocrapSocialistsSuck

    They should randomly drug test every Paterson Police officer. Half of them would probably come back hot.

    • bigron

      I second it.

    • Scott Wilson

      Ahhhhh….. all NJ police officers are subject to random drug tests under attorney general guidelines.

      • DemocrapSocialistsSuck

        Ahhhhh, many of them get tipped off by their superiors before the "random" test so that they have time to clean out their system. Ahhhhh, many cops are juice heads how many of them do you see lose their jobs for steroid abuse? Ahhhhh

  • John

    Please stop the hating. Most Police are excellent people, some are not. The bad ones should be taken out like in any other profession. By knocking them continously it shows how bias some viewers here are. If you fail a drug test you should be taken out, no if and buts about it. With a city as Paterson that the overall community including politicians hate the police and constantly attack them I cannot see why any good police officer would want to stay working in Paterson. Paterson is a rat infested drug hole that needs to be entirely flushed out.