Firefighter on leave busted for pot growing operation

By Abbey Niezgoda

A Johnston firefighter whose been receiving thousands of dollars in paid disability leave is now facing felony drug charges.

Police found more than 100 marijuana plants, along with guns and hallucinogenic mushrooms inside David Lashus's home over the weekend.

He has yet to enter a plea, but as the case makes its way through the court, Johnston Mayor Joe Polisena is trying to legally find a way to cut off Lashus's disability pay of more than $50,000 a year. 

“It's grossly unfair that the taxpayers are paying this guy to sit at home and the allegations are what they are,” Polisena said. “There's no place for someone like that to work in this town.”

When ABC6 went to Lashus's home, his son came to the door, but had no comment.

Johnston Fire Chief Timothy McLaughlin says Lashus will have a lot of explaining to do to his department. 

“It takes the air out of all of the good that you do because it only takes one bad one to stain everybody,” McLaughlin said.

A decision on Lashus's immediate future with the Johnston Fire Department could come as soon as Wednesday morning.