Promoted Detroit fire official has history of operating while intoxicated, revoked license

DFD promises investigation, quick action

(WXYZ) DETROIT - A newly promoted Detroit fire official has a revoked driver's license and a history of operating a vehicle after consuming alcohol, 7 Action News has learned.

Andre Johnson was elevated this week from battalion chief to senior chief. The job requires him to operate a vehicle.  

In an interview with WXYZ tonight, Detroit Fire Commissioner Jonathan Jackson took full blame for not catching Johnson's frightening driving history. 

"I should have done a much better job of vetting someone I was considering to promote.  I take full responsibility for it," Johnson said.

"It's something I should have taken more seriously."

He promised a thorough investigation into Johnson and that, as a matter of course, the department will begin regular checks into driving histories for all staff that operate vehicles.

Johnson will forfeit his promotion and is subject to discipline pending the results of the investigation. He will not be operating any fire equipment in the meantime.

"I'm going to take appropriate action.  I'm going to deal with this decisively," Jackson said.

Johnson's license has been revoked since 2010 after he was cited multiple times for operating his vehicle while  under the influence. In one instance, it resulted in an injured person.

According to records we've obtained, Johnson's first strike came in 2002 when he was cited for O.U.I..  His license was restricted and a year later,  he was cited again. At that point, his license was revoked.

He appealed and got his license back in 2005, but it had restrictions. Then, in 2009, Johnson got in a car accident while operating his vehicle, again under the influence.  In this case, someone was injured.

Johnson's license was revoked in 2010, and he's not eligible to appeal until next year.

"This is a black eye for myself, our department." Jackson said. "It definitely doesn't make us look good."

Contact Investigator Ross Jones at rjones@wxyz.com or at (248) 827-9466.

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