Kenneth Tate was fired from his job at the Centers for Disease Control seven weeks ago after riding an elevator with President Obama.
He was assigned to ride the elevator when the president was going to an Ebola briefing at the CDC. He was carrying a .40 caliber gun, two magazines of ammunition, and a radio holstered to his belt under his suit jacket like any other escorting job.
Tate said the president started a brief conversation with him. The president asked him his name and said it was nice to meet him. When the president’s motorcade arrived, Tate tried to take a picture with him. Tate said that angry Secret Service agents told him to back off and that he was getting too close. After this incident, Tate’s attorney, Christopher Chestnut, is suing Tate’s former employer.
“There was no reason for Mr. Tate to suspect that taking a picture of the motorcade was against protocol, when he wasn’t briefed on any protocol,” said Chestnut.
Tate was reassigned from that part of his job because of three reasons: When he was pulled aside and questioned, it took the Secret Service agents three times to get him to admit he took a picture. He didn’t follow instructions. Finally, he didn’t follow his post order. The CDC requested that he be reassigned, but it was the Department of Homeland Security that fired him.