Crime - Sacto 911

Board places Herald fire chief on leave

Just two weeks after the release of a critical grand jury report, the Herald Fire Protection District’s board of directors voted Wednesday night to place Chief Chris McGranahan on paid administrative leave, said board member Lance Newhall said.

McGranahan could not be reached for comment Thursday.

Newhall said McGranahan will remain on leave indefinitely, but he declined to say why the board placed the chief on leave.

A Sacramento County Grand Jury report earlier this month called for an audit of the district, saying fire officials used an unauthorized bank account to conduct district business and that McGranahan was not managing fire personnel in accordance with state law. It also faulted McGranahan for using his work computer to view photos of “nude and scantily-clad women” that were then emailed to another employee.

McGranahan took issue with the grand jury’s findings, saying in an interview that the district had been working to rectify the bank account and fire personnel issues. He also said he was emailed “suggestive” photos but did not forward them to any other employee. He also said he told the person who sent the email to “not do it again.”

A year ago, the board had voted to oust Newhall, a move that community members and county Supervisor Don Nottoli said was illegal in the absence of a recall election or a grand jury finding of misconduct. Newhall was reinstated on a subsequent vote.

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