Updated:ORANGE CITY, Fla. —
A former officer is suing the Orange City Police Department because he said he was fired while undergoing treatment for cancer.
Nick Giampietro was a police officer in Orange City for years until his life was turned upside down.
"Out of the blue I was diagnosed with cancer," Giampietro said.
The former SWAT team member thought his potentially deadly cancer was the worst of his problems until he got a termination letter from Orange City leaders.
Giampietro used up his sick leave time and was fired while using sick leave that was donated by co-workers. The news came just six weeks before he was scheduled to return to duty.
"Of course I'm angry because you know, like I said, I considered them like a family," Giampietro said.
The former officer is now suing in federal court to get his job back.
"After battling for my life, I'm battling for my career," Giampietro said.
The lawsuit claims the city violated the Family Medical Leave Act by firing Giampietro while he underwent surgery and chemotherapy.
"I would endure eight hours of chemo therapy, five days a week," Giampietro said.
He said the termination left him in debt and struggling to pay for health insurance when he needed it the most.
"It just feels like every door is closed because of this," Giampietro said.
Orange City leaders would not comment on the lawsuit because it's pending litigation.