The Mountainair town council fired police officer Ron Fulfer Aug. 30 at a special meeting by a unanimous vote; meanwhile Fulfer said he intends to file a grievance for wrongful termination.
The vote was 3-0 with councilor Ernie Lopez absent, according to an update on the town’s Facebook page after the meeting.
“We appreciate his service for the four months he was with us,” said Mayor Peter Nieto on Thursday, citing personnel confidentiality for not commenting further. Nieto initiated the termination, which was ratified by the council Thursday.
Nieto gave Fulfer a letter dated Aug. 24 which says only, “Your employment with the Town of Mountainair is terminated effective immediately. Any items in your possession belonging to the Town of Mountainair must be returned to Mountainair Town Hall no later than Tuesday, August 28th, 2018. Your final paycheck will be issued no later than Friday, August 31st, 2018.”
Fulfer said after the meeting that when councilor Adrian Padilla made the motion to terminate his employment, he made reference to a discussion in executive session at the previous meeting, adding, “To this date I’m still wondering what they discussed in that meeting or why I was terminated.”
Fulfer said he believed he was on track to become the town’s chief of police, and has not been told why he was fired. Fulfer said he intends to file a grievance and contact the EEOC and an attorney. “I feel I have every right to know exactly why I was terminated, and they haven’t provided that to me.”
Fulfer has 30 years of law enforcement experience, and was last employed by the Torrance County Sheriff’s department.