Ip­swich fire chief held on do­mes­tic as­sault charges

Boston Herald - - NEWS - By MATT STOUT — matthew.stout@boston­her­ald.com

Ip­swich’s fire chief is on paid leave while he faces do­mes­tic violence charges stem­ming from two sep­a­rate in­ci­dents, in­clud­ing an al­leged at­tack last year dur­ing which he is al­leged to have stran­gled the vic­tim, of­fi­cials said.

Greg Gagnon, 41, was arrested yes­ter­day morn­ing and or­dered held with­out bail pend­ing his ar­raign­ment on the stran­gu­la­tion charge to­mor­row in Low­ell Dis­trict Court. His ar­rest came a day af­ter he was ar­raigned in the same court on charges in­clud­ing as­sault with a dan­ger­ous weapon and wit­ness in­tim­i­da­tion stem­ming from an al­leged as­sault Thurs­day. He was placed on paid leave af­ter his ini­tial ar­rest on “se­ri­ous al­le­ga­tions,” Town Man­ager Robin Cros­bie said.

Cros­bie said Gagnon was placed on paid leave from his $127,000-a-year post af­ter hear­ing from Gagnon and Mid­dle­sex Dis­trict At­tor­ney Mar­ian T. Ryan’s of­fice.

Cros­bie re­ferred fur­ther questions to po­lice in Gagnon’s home­town of Dra­cut, who are con­duct­ing the in­ves­ti­ga­tion. Dra­cut cops di­rected all questions to the DA’s of­fice, which said in­ves­ti­ga­tors learned of the “ad­di­tional in­ci­dent in­volv­ing do­mes­tic violence” af­ter his ar­raign­ment Fri­day.

Gagnon was hired from the Dra­cut Fire Depart­ment in 2014. Ef­forts to reach him yes­ter­day were not suc­cess­ful.

In his place, Fire Lt. Andy The­ri­ault is serv­ing as act­ing chief, though Cros­bie said she is meet­ing with an out­side can­di­date to­mor­row to dis­cuss serv­ing as act­ing chief while Gagnon is on leave. She de­clined to iden­tify the can­di­date.

Gagnon will remain on leave pend­ing the out­come of his case.

Cros­bie said Gagnon has been an “ex­em­plary em­ployee,” but that putting him on leave is standard pro­ce­dure in “these kinds of in­ci­dents.”

“My job is to pro­tect the in­tegrity of the town,” she said, “and we’ve taken the ac­tions nec­es­sary to do that.”

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