Local government

Nyssa officials choose new fire chief but stay silent on investigation launched last spring

NYSSA – The Nyssa Fire Department has a new chief but what happened to an investigation by the city into the emergency service department initiated last spring remains a mystery.
Marvin Seuell was sworn in as the new fire chief during the Nyssa City Council meeting Tuesday, Sept. 12. He replaces former Chief Eric Menchaca.
City officials initiated an independent investigation into the department but declined to release any details on the inquiry.
The investigation was apparently triggered after Nyssa firefighters attempted to vote Menchaca out of his position in the fall of 2022. Menchaca was placed on paid administrative leave in December 2022 and Seuell was chosen to fill the position on a temporary basis.
The fire chief slot is a part-time position with no benefits. Menchaca was paid a stipend of $749.16 a month. The city paid half of the stipend while the Nyssa Rural Fire Department paid the other half.
Jim Maret, Nyssa city manager, said the Nyssa Police Department initially began the investigation but the city later decided to hire an independent investigator.
Last week Maret said the investigation was complete but because it was a personnel matter he could not discuss it.
“I can’t say yay or nay on anything,” Maret said
Maret said Menchaca stopped “being the fire chief in August.”
Maret said he does not believe Menchaca is still a Nyssa volunteer firefighter.
“To my knowledge he does not want to come back,” said Maret.
Menchaca could not be reached for comment last week.
The Nyssa Fire Department consists of two agencies – the city of Nyssa fire department and the Nyssa Rural Fire Department.

News tip? Contact reporter Pat Caldwell at [email protected].

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