Rikers Island

Anthony Behar/Sipa Press

Rikers guard reinstated after judge agrees poppy seeds caused positive drug test

December 27, 2018 - 2:26 pm
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NEW YORK (1010 WINS) -- City correction officer Eleazor Paz has won his year-long legal battle with the city to get his Rikers Island job back.

The problem began with a bagel.

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Paz was fired after he tested positive for traces of morphine and codeine during a routine drug screening. He said he flunked the test because he ate a poppy seed bagel.

A toxicology expert backed him up.

“It was unbelievable what happened to me, because I didn’t do anything wrong,” he said.

As the New York Post explained, opium comes from the poppy plant. The seeds don't contain the drug, but can pick up residue if they are not properly washed.

The Civil Service Commission recently reversed the officer's firing which was recommended by an administrative trial judge.

The Correction Department said Paz won't be getting back pay, but Paz's lawyer is threatening legal action.

In the meantime, Paz says he's sworn off poppies.