The D.C Office of the Attorney General will challenge the reinstatement of a former emergency medical responder who was fired over the mishandling of the fatal beating of journalist David E. Rosenbaum.
The responder, Selena Walker, was given back her job June 26 by an administrative law judge in the city's Office of Employee Appeals, according to case documents.
Melissa Merz, a spokeswoman for D.C. Attorney General Linda Singer, said yesterday that the case will be appealed in D.C. Superior Court but no date has been set.
"We share the [fire] chief's commitment to ensuring that employees are held to the highest standards," Mrs. Singer said.
The judge ruled in June that Miss Walker should get back her job because the city failed to take action against her within 90 days of the time the fire department "should have known" the details of the incident.
The attorney general appealed in August to the full appeals board, which sided with Miss Walker on Oct. 5.
Miss Walker was fired in June 2006 after an inspector general's report that found she failed to follow procedure when treating Mr. Rosenbaum.
In January 2006, two men struck Mr. Rosenbaum on the head, then robbed him while he was walking near his Northwest home. He died two days later.
Officials said no action was taken against Miss Walker within the 90 days because the fire department did not have sufficient evidence to think she had done anything wrong.
The appeals board ruled that the department had sufficient evidence to take action Jan. 18, 2006, after it had interviewed all of the workers responding to the call and that it had until May 26, 2006, to do so, according to a copy of the decision.
Assistant Chief Kenneth Crosswhite said the department supports the attorney general's appeal and is waiting to hear what its role will be in the case.
"It's out of our hands right now," he said. "We will probably supply background information - whatever is requested."
Mr. Rosenbaum's brother, Marcus Rosenbaum said he supports the challenge because "it's the right thing to do."
"I'm glad they're challenging it," Mr. Rosenbaum said. He also said Miss Walker "obviously made a big mistake, and we don't want people like that in life-and-death situations."
Mr. Rosenbaum's family filed a $20 million civil lawsuit against the city and Howard University Hospital for neglect and poor care.
The family dropped the suit in exchange for the creation of a task force that would look for ways to improve the city's emergency-response services.
Last month, the 13-member task force recommended emergency personnel receive more training and oversight. It also called for appointing an assistant chief for emergency medical service within the fire department and elevating the department's medical director position to assistant chief.
However, the task force did not recommend removing emergency medical services from the department's control, as D.C. Mayor Adrian M. Fenty pledged he would do when was running for office.
Mr. Fenty, a Democrat, could not be reached for comment yesterday.