N.M. Firefighter Accused of Hazing, DUI, Quits

RIO RANCHO, N.M. -- A Rio Rancho firefighter involved in a hazing incident and arrested on suspicion of drunken driving has resigned. Joshua Roney turned in his resignation four days after police said he was driving drunk in a school zone while off...


RIO RANCHO, N.M. --

A Rio Rancho firefighter involved in a hazing incident and arrested on suspicion of drunken driving has resigned.

Joshua Roney turned in his resignation four days after police said he was driving drunk in a school zone while off duty. He was released on bond and placed on paid administrative leave following the arrest.

According to an arrest report, Roney told the arresting officer that he was on his way home and stopped for two beers. The officer said Roney had bloodshot, watery eyes, slurred speech and a strong odor of alcohol. The officer said Roney showed signs of impairment during field sobriety tests.

Mayor Tom Swisstack said Roney was one of three firefighters placed on paid leave last year during an investigation of whether a new recruit was hazed.

"When you have some people or an individual that have a series of things beginning to occur, I think the decision was a good one," said Swisstack. "Sooner or later, the city would have had to make a decision or whether or not to retain his employment."

Swisstack said both incidents are unacceptable for public servants.

"When it comes to public safety people, the fact is that we are held to higher standards," he said. "Sometimes we may not like that, people may not like that, but the truth is, we are."

The city recently completed its investigation into the hazing incident. It has never disclosed what disciplinary action was taken against the firefighters.

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