Joe De Nuncio with the "Jesus Door"
Tampa, Florida -- A Bay area man who says he spotted the image of Jesus in a bathroom door says he's being told to give the door back or pay $5,000.
Joe De Nuncio says he noticed the image on a bathroom door at Bay City Plywood about four years ago, when he worked for the company.
Eventually the door -- nicknamed the Jesus Door -- was taken to several different Florida cities and even to St. Louis for people to see for themselves as part of a radio station promotion with 93.3 WFLZ's The MJ Morning show. The Jesus Door tour was in 2008.
Photo Gallery: Pictures of the Jesus Door
More pictures: From WFLZ's Jesus Door tour
De Nuncio says he kept the door after the tour and was told by one of the company's owners that he could keep it. A short time later he was fired.
But the ownership of the door was recently brought up as De Nuncio and Bay City Plywood try and work out a settlement over De Nuncio's firing. The company now says it never gave De Nuncio the door, something De Nuncio disagrees with.
"It's been two years; they have not asked me for the door. If it was their door why wouldn't their lawyer be the aggressor in the lawsuit and come after me?" De Nuncio told 10 News.
De Nuncio, who is still unemployed, says it wasn't until his attorney got aggressive in negotiations with Bay City Plywood that the company demanded the door back or told him to pay $5,000.
Through a statement issued to 10 News, Bay City Plywood called De Nuncio a disgruntled employee attempting to exploit and harm his former employer for his own personal gain. The company also stated the door has always been the property of Bay City Plywood.
The company also told 10 News De Nuncio was fired for misconduct. However De Nuncio says that is not true and if it was he would not have been able to collect unemployment in Florida which he did after being let go.
De Nuncio was fired by Bay City Plywood in March of 2009 and said his attorney has advised him not to publically discuss any more details of the situation.
But he made it clear, he is not about to give the door back.
"They (Bay City Plywood) can kick me when I'm down but they're not getting the door no matter what, it's not happening," he said.
Below is the complete statement issued by Bay City Plywood through their attorney:
Bay City Plywood is, and has always been, the legal owner of the "Jesus Door". Bay City Plywood allowed Mr. Denuncio to borrow the door to take to publicity and charitable events while he was employed. After Mr. Denuncio was terminated for misconduct, Bay City Plywood requested the return of the door. Mr. Denuncio refused. This is nothing more than a disgruntled employee attempting to exploit and harm his prior employer for his own personal gain and satisfaction.
Preston Rudie, 10 News