San Jose Firefighter Fired for Sexual Email to Teen Receives Support from Judge

City should not have fired firefighter for sexual message to 16-year old, judge says.

Five years after a San Jose firefighter received his walking papers for sending a "cookie pie" to a teenager, he received some support -- from a judge.

A judge siding with 35-year-old Grant Seibert says he should not have been fired for sending a sexual email to the 16-year-old Leland High junior, because Siebert thought she was 18, the San Jose Mercury News reported.

Seibert met the girl when she brought a "cookie pie" to the firehouse on Thanksgiving 2008, the newspaper reported.

He took her photo and the two began exchanging emails -- and "thus began one of the city's thorniest personnel cases," as the newspaper put it.

On Dec. 15, 2008, in response to an email the teen sent complaining about a hurt elbow, he replied with an "overtly sexual email" that included a "paramedic fantasy of how he would examine and probe her," the newspaper reported.

Her father discovered the email and went to the firehouse in a rage. City officials, though possessed of cooler heads, made the move to fire him.

In the meantime, Seibert has gone to court, along with a co-worker and a superior who also testified that she "appeared to be in [her] late teens or early 20s," the newspaper reported.

Superior Court Judge Franklin Bondonno sided with Seibert, noting that while his conduct was "tawdry," it didn't merit firing.

Still disgusted, the City of San Jose says it will appeal.

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