News, News Videos

D.C. Lieutenant in Patient Death May Go Unpunished

WASHINGTON (WUSA9) – D.C. Firefighter Lt. Kellene Davis has been under fire for months after the D.C. fire station in her command was unresponsive as 77-year-old Cecil Mills was having a heart attack just across the street. Mills died.

Days later, Lt. Davis filed for retirement but was denied. She was placed on desk duty while a trial board of firefighters consider whether she should face punishment for not responding to Mills.

Meanwhile, Davis has since submitted a new request for retirement, one that may be on track for approval and may allow her to skirt any possible punishment if the trial board ultimately decides to hand one down.

Cecil Mills’ family issued the following statement:

“We are angry and frustrated that the trial board has allowed the lieutenant who did not do her job and whose inaction prevented a life from being saved is allowed to retire with no adverse action being taken.”

Fire officials said that since Davis submitted her second request in a timely manner, and since she is eligible for retirement, Chief Ken Ellerbe is required to accept it.

But Davis must still get approved by the D.C. retirement board and be processed through city departments like human resources and payroll, which could take weeks, even months.

Until every “T” is crossed and “I” dotted – making the retirement official – Davis will still technically be a city employee.

If the trial board decides to issue a penalty before that retirement process is complete, Davis could still face disciplinary action that could possibly jeopardize her retirement benefits. But if the trial board moves slower than the retirement process or if they decide that Davis should not be punished, then she won’t be.

That also doesn’t sit well with the Mills family, who said, “Justice was not served. The system did not work. This is disgraceful.”

Marie Mills says her father Cecil Mills worked for the District’s Parks and Recreation Department for nearly five decades. “My dad was a wonderful dad. My dad was my best friend. My dad would help anyone,” Marie Mills said.

Lt. Kellene Davis, the ranking officer at the time of the incident, faces six counts of various levels of neglect including failing to respond to Mills and making a false statement.