Ipswich fire chief held on domestic assault charges
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.”