Fired AZ park ranger speaks out after being rehired

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Sue Hartin is excited to have her job back with the Arizona State Parks and Trails Department. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5) Sue Hartin is excited to have her job back with the Arizona State Parks and Trails Department. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
Hartin says she still doesn't know why she was fired and that no explanation was given. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5) Hartin says she still doesn't know why she was fired and that no explanation was given. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
Now, the agency says Hartin is going to be rehired to the job she loves. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5) Now, the agency says Hartin is going to be rehired to the job she loves. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
EL MIRAGE, AZ (3TV/CBS 5) -

A fired state park ranger is speaking out after getting her job back, saying she's grateful to the community for rallying around her. 

Sue Hartin, a 19-year veteran of the state park system who is battling eye cancer, was fired earlier this month -- leaving her without much-needed health insurance. 

Hartin says she still doesn't know why she was fired and that no explanation was given. 

"It's been overwhelming," Hartin said. 

[ORIGINAL STORY: AZ parks ranger battling cancer fired after 19 years on the job]

But after Arizona's Family and other outlets told Hartin's story, the director of Arizona Parks and Trails drove to Hartin's El Mirage home and met with her for two hours. 

"It was nothing but professional," Hartin said. "Total respect for her and the agency itself." 

Now, the agency says Hartin is going to be rehired to the job she loves. 

"I feel like I've been vindicated," Hartin said.

While Hartin says she doesn't yet know when she'll be working again, she's already been getting calls from old coworkers who are happy that she'll soon be back on the job. 

Hartin's friends say it's a well-deserved win for someone dealing with many difficulties. 

"I just couldn't imagine anybody firing, or letting somebody go, being so dedicated," said neighbor Barb Lockett. 

And while questions remain about why Hartin was fired, she says her search for answers has ended now that she's going to be a park ranger again. 

"I'm going back to work," Hartin said. "That's all that matters." 

Below is a statement from Sue Black, executive director of the Arizona State Parks and Trails Department.

This decision was made with the facts available at the time. Since then, additional information has become available that is personal in nature. After further review, I have decided to offer reinstatement to Sue Hartin and will be working with DOA-HR to expedite this process. Government is here to serve the people, but we must also show heart and compassion to members of our team. 

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