South San Joaquin County Fire Authority Division Chief Patrick Vargas was fired from his position with the fire department last week, though the circumstances of his termination have not been revealed.
Vargas confirmed on Wednesday that he was released “without cause,” after 32 years as a Tracy firefighter, including the first four years as a volunteer, starting with Tracy Rural County Fire Protection District, Tracy Fire Department and more recently, the South San Joaquin County Fire Authority.
Vargas said that he could not discuss the circumstances of his release or his being placed on administrative leave last year.
Vargas is the husband of Tracy Mayor Pro-Tem Veronica Vargas. She also said she would not comment on his release at this time.
On Monday fire authority Chief Randall Bradley notified personnel in the department that Vargas was no longer employed with the department. Bradley also did not comment further, noting that he cannot discuss personnel issues.
The City of Tracy and Tracy Rural County Fire Protection District, which covers everything in south San Joaquin County, south of Grant Line Canal and west of the San Joaquin River, merged operations as a joint powers authority in 1999 with a board of directors that includes members of the Tracy Rural Fire District and the Tracy City Council.
In 2018 the South San Joaquin Fire Authority became a stand-alone government entity serving both the city and the rural district. As of the start of this year the authority employs all of its own personnel, who previously had been City of Tracy employees working under a contract with the fire authority.
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