PLANO, Texas — A captain in Plano’s Fire-Rescue Department was suspended for attempting to illegally buy a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention vaccine card for his unvaccinated wife, according to official city documents.
On the morning of Aug. 4, according to the documents, Captain Richie Floyd approached fellow firefighter Steven Tuck about acquiring an official CDC vaccine card with a lot number, which is required for traveling. Floyd and his wife were planning a trip to New York City, and his wife needed the card in order to attend a Broadway show.
After initially agreeing to illegally acquire a card for Floyd, Tuck instead reported the incident to his captain, who in turn reported the incident to their battalion chief.
Floyd was suspended for 24 hours by the department’s chief, Sam Greif.
“I take full responsibility for my role in this incident,” Floyd said in a written statement obtained by Spectrum News 1. “I apologize for lack of consciousness and lapse of [sic] judgement in this matter, for putting my brother in a situation I should have never put him in, for acting haste, for my lack of moral character, for bringing a stain upon the PFR officer corps and our department. I ask all involved to forgive me for all I have done concerning this matter and the extra work I have created.”
The captain’s suspension was based on three violations of the department’s rules, including “acts of said employee showing a lack of good moral character.”
A spokesperson for the department declined to comment to Spectrum News 1. The Dallas Firefighters Association did not return a call before the deadline for this story.
According to the incident report, Floyd’s wife was stricken with COVID-19 in December and decided not to pursue the vaccine shot.
Floyd decided to cancel his trip, the document saic, and intended to withdraw his request for an illegal vaccine card the next time he saw Tuck. In a statement contained within the incident report, Floyd expressed disappointment with his co-worker for not contacting him before taking the incident up the ladder.
“If he felt uncomfortable after me asking, he should have immediately told me,” Floyd said. “Steven has my phone number and could have easily called or sent a text, but he did not.”
Anyone forging or using fake vaccination cards is violating federal law. In March, the Federal Bureau of Investigation released a public service announcement reminding the public that, in addition to putting the cardholder and others at risk of contracting COVID-19, using fake cards violates federal law prohibiting the unauthorized use of an official government agency’s seal. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the CDC seals appear on every legitimate vaccine card.
False and deceptive marketing and sales of fake COVID-19 vaccination cards also likely violate consumer protection laws in many states.
That hasn’t stopped people from trying to forge the document. A recent nationwide survey of more than 1,200 unvaccinated students found that 55% of them lied about having taken the vaccine. Of those students, 46% have admitted to buying or making fake vaccine cards.