By: Sarah Snyder
EUNICE, NEW MEXICO - Eunice city leaders are putting out a fire of a different kind. There's strong allegations of sexual misconduct by the City Fire Chief with a patient en route to the hospital on board a city ambulance.
To understand where it all started, you have to go back to May.
The Eunice Fire Chief and several EMT's were on a medical run and on the way to the hospital. Those witnesses accuse Chief Grogan of heavily medicating a female patient then inappropriately touching her chest.
"Ron basically medicated her, with in my opinion, a lot of pain medication," Tony Fuller, Eyewitness and former Eunice EMT, said. "She asked him to feel her breast implants and he did. [I was] uncomfortable with that. I went to my supervisor."
Mayor White tells NewsWest 9, after receiving the complaint from the EMT, the City began an investigation then put the case in the hands of the New Mexico Department of Health.
"It really hurts the City for it to be for a full year, so basically I would like to see it reduced," Eunice Mayor Matt White said.
NewsWest 9 obtained a copy of the letter sent to the New Mexico Department of Health. They suspended the Fire Chief's paramedic license on the grounds of sexual misconduct and unprofessional behavior.
"I felt like the City Manager and the Mayor just swept it under the rug and blew me off and didn't take this issue seriously," Fuller said.
"He made a mistake," Mayor White said. "He did something he wasn't supposed to do. Unfortunately, there are some other facts to it, at this point I'm not going to say what they are, ecause I don't believe I should."
Mayor White says they have hired a new EMT and the city emergency response won't be affected. They plan to keep Grogan on as the fire chief and appeal the allegations.
"Ron Grogan has been a great fire chief," Mayor White said. "This is a great disappointment. I disagree with the penalty they assessed him. I do believe he needed to be punished. He did something he shouldn't have done. That's why we're going to appeal it. We feel like it was a little bit harsh for the circumstances."
But Fuller says this jeopardizes the relationship with the community.
"He's what the public sees whenever they think about our department," Fuller said. "I don't think he's representing the department well. I think it's kind of embarrasing actually."
NewsWest 9 spoke with Chief Grogan, but he refused to comment on camera until everything is ironed out in the courtroom.
"I guess the big thing is we lost a little trust in him because of this issue," Mayor White said.
"Is this going to affect his job as the fire chief?" NewsWest 9 asked. "No. It will not," White said.