City Manager Speaks Out About Fire Chief Allegations

By: Sarah Snyder
NewsWest 9

EUNICE, NEW MEXICO - New developments following allegations of inappropriate relations between the Eunice fire chief and a patient inside the ambulance. It's become a topic of controversy around town and at Tuesday's City Council meeting City Manager Curtis Schrader spoke out.

He tells NewsWest 9 it was his decision to handle Ron Grogan's position as fire chief not the Mayor's.

Here's what happened: witnesses accuse Chief Ron Grogan of heavily medicating a female patient then inappropriately touching her chest. The city began an investigation then put the case in the hands of the New Mexico Department of Health. The state suspended the fire chief's paramedic license on the grounds of sexual misconduct. On Tuesday, the City Manager wanted to make it clear that this is a serious issue and the next step for the city all depends on what the state decides.

NewsWest 9 asked Schrader about the accusations that the city let Chief Grogan keep his job because he's related by marriage to Mayor Matt White. Schrader said that played no role in his decision.

"That looks to be something that the Mayor has a decision on when it's not," City Manager Curtis Schrader said. "It's my decision. That was one of the reasons that I wanted to make those statements tonight to clear that air that any decisions regarding Chief Grogan's employment or his status with the city is strictly my decision."

Right now the city is waiting to find out when the state will hold the hearing. They say that decision will determine Chief Grogan's employment status. 

The city said quite a few rumors have circulated around town. NewsWest 9 spoke with several people in Eunice but they didn't want to comment on camera. Most are concerned about the quality of EMS services, but city leaders say there will be no change.