A longtime Nashville paramedic was getting a paycheck from the city, but he wasn't on the job, on leave or vacation.
Instead, he was in a cell at the Rutherford County Jail, and even his bosses didn't know what was going on.
Robert Plummer had a recent, serious criminal conviction he had never told his bosses about, and when the Channel 4 I-Team dug deeper, it turns out there is a lot Plummer hadn't told the Nashville Fire Department.
Plummer had earned a good reputation as a paramedic for Nashville Fire for nine years.
So, when he went on an undisclosed, extended medical leave last May, his bosses in the city figured he was recuperating.
He was spending a lot of time lying around, but it just wasn't at home. He was serving a sentence for domestic assault.
"When you presented this to us, I'll be honest with you, we were surprised. And as the events unfolded, we became shocked," said Nashville Fire Deputy Chief Kim Lawson.
Here's the problem. It is outlined in the civil service rules that if an employee is convicted or pleads guilty to a crime, they have three days to tell their bosses.
Smyrna court records show in January 2010, Plummer pleaded guilty to domestic assault and spent seven days in the Rutherford County Jail.
But he never told anyone. And when he came back he went right back to being a paramedic.
"Domestic assault charges, we take those very seriously," Lawson said.
When the Channel 4 I-Team found that one domestic assault conviction, we decided to dig deeper. That's when we didn't just find one conviction, but three different criminal convictions all while Plummer was employed by the Nashville Fire Department.
And again, no one in the city ever knew.
How can that be?
Records show that after Plummer served that seven-day sentence in early 2010, he kept working until he took the extended medical leave in May 2011.
But just a few months later, he was arrested again for domestic assault, pleaded guilty in September 2011 to the crime and served nearly three more months in the Rutherford County Jail.
Also, while he was in jail, Plummer pleaded guilty to an additional charge of vandalism for tearing up a mattress.
The entire time, his bosses in the Nashville Fire Department believed he was out on medical leave.
We went to Plummer's home to ask if he planned his jail time to coincide with his vacation and medical leave, but he didn't answer or return our calls for comment.
After Channel 4 confirmed the information in this story, Plummer was placed on administrative leave with pay and will face internal charges that could result in termination.
Copyright WSMV 2012 (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.
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