Jake Not High; Drunk

Boston Firefighter Tony “Machine Gun” Gaston – the jake who was locked up after cops caught him “fishbowling” pot in his BFD vehicle, which was parked at a fire hydrant across from a day care center earlier this month – wants to get paid his full-duty salary while in a jail cell at Nashua Street.

Yesterday, his private attorney (Local 718 is not representing him on the criminal charges stemming from the March 7 arrest) demanded a hearing to prevent the city from keeping Gaston on unpaid administrative leave. The attorney, Richard Weiss, argued that Gaston was an “employee in good standing” before his “presumably being in possession of marijuana and smoking marijuana in a Boston Fire Department Vehicle,” at the time of his arrest.

But when he was busted, Gaston was in fact out on bail, charged with beating up a woman in front of her child (and several witnesses.) A judge revoked that bail after Gaston’s pot bust, which is making it hard for him to make a living, Weiss wrote. “By being put in jail, Anthony Gaston has been unable to work his job,” the lawyer wrote in the notice that he planned to sue the city of Boston and BFD Commissioner Rod Fraser.

Weiss also claims that the drug test Fraser demanded he take after his arrest was negative for pot. What it did show, however, several city officials said, was that Gaston was legally drunk. He was wearing his dress blues uniform on his day off from his $97,000-a-year job as a fire department inspector and was behind the wheel of the city car he was not authorized to use at the time of his arrest.

The attorney’s attempts failed after a hearing in Suffolk County court this afternoon.

“We’re glad the judge found in our favor,” said Dot Joyce, a spokeswoman for Mayor Thomas M. Menino.

Gaston, who earned his department nickname after he took a collar for possession of an assault rifle, a charge that he ultimately beat, has a rap sheet that included 25 entries before this month’s latest rap on drug charges. Gaston was not criminally charged with the Percocet in his pocket on March 7 because he had a prescription for the painkillers, police said.

-Michele McPhee