Fire captain files retaliation suit against L.A. County over Kobe Bryant crash photo probe

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A federal investigator’s photo of the site of the Jan. 26 helicopter crash in Calabasas that killed Kobe Bryant, his daughter Gianna and seven others.(James Anderson / National Transportation Safety Board via Los Angeles Times)

A federal investigator’s photo of the site of the Jan. 26 helicopter crash in Calabasas that killed Kobe Bryant, his daughter Gianna and seven others. (James Anderson / National Transportation Safety Board via Los Angeles Times)

A Los Angeles County fire captain who was at the scene of the helicopter crash that killed NBA star Kobe Bryant and eight others has filed a retaliation lawsuit against the county, alleging he was demoted for refusing to fully cooperate with an investigation into graphic photos taken of the crash site.

The lawsuit, filed Wednesday by Capt. Tony Imbrenda, marks the latest fallout from the photo scandal that embroiled the county’s fire agency and the Sheriff’s Department. The Times reported this year that sheriff’s deputies shared gruesome images of the scene in the foothills above Calabasas.

Imbrenda, who served as a spokesman for the fire department in the days after the crash and later was stripped of that title during the investigation, alleges his career prospects were damaged severely by the cloud of suspicion cast over him during the inquiry.

“Imbrenda had an impeccable reputation in the Southern California PIO community with extensive earning potential in his post fire service career,” the lawsuit said. “That potential is now totally destroyed.”

Read the full story on LATimes.com.

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