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Former California EMS chief had history of drug use & fire district knew it before his January arrest

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Source: Contra Costa Fire Department

A new report from the East Bay Times says new Contra Costa County shows EMS Chief Richard Stephenson was demoted once because he had a history of drug use, and that the Fire Protection District promoted him to chief knowing his history.

Stephenson is now fighting Personnelmbezzlement and drug possession charges.

He was promoted to chief in 2017, a position that allowed him access to drugs.

Personel records show the district know about his drug use history dating back to 2005. He even signed a “last chance agreement” that allowed him to skip over an disciplinary action as long he met certain requirements.

He was demoted in 2009 from fire engineer to firefighter because he was under investigation by state Emergency Medical Services.

Stephenson has also admitted to using marijuana and cocaine while employed as a paramedic.

He was also charged with stalking and battery in two separate incidents in 2004.

Police seized hundreds of vials of fentanyl and other prescription opioids from Stephenson when they arrested him in January.

He is no longer employed at the district after he filed for retirement after his January arrest.

Because of that, he is also no longer subject to an internal investigation.

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