There is more bad news coming out of the beleaguered Velarde, New Mexico, Fire Department. The interium fire chief, appointed to replace the chief who was at the center of a major dispute, showed up at the fire station Monday evening for a meeting appearing to be drunk, wearing body armor and carrying two firearms including an assault rifle.
Interim Fire Chief Darwin Yazzie was arrested and charged with aggravated assault. He allegedly appeared at the department’s monthly meeting and threatened firefighters.
Officials from Rio Arriba County indicated on Tuesday they had terminated Chief Yazzie and had obtained a restraining order prohibiting him from having contact with the department or its members.
News reports indicate that Chief Yazzie’s behavior is believed to have been promoted by a rift in the department over the termination of the previous fire chief, Eddie Velarde. More on that story.