Firefighter suspended 45 days for leaving crew a man short, defacing SAFD documents

Firefighter Robert McConnaughhay faced indefinite suspension, which was later reduced as part of release and settlement agreement

SAN ANTONIO – A San Antonio firefighter was suspended 45 days late last year after a series of incidents that included him failing to respond to a call for service, according to discipline records obtained by the KSAT 12 Defenders.

Firefighter Robert McConnaughhay was originally handed an indefinite suspension Nov. 10. The punishment was shortened as part of a release and settlement agreement signed by him and Chief Charles Hood, city records show.

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McConnaughhay did not respond to a call near the end of his shift in June, leaving his station’s apparatus a man short, records show.

He also “knowingly” did not answer a page from a superior calling him to respond and when finally found, he was was out of his uniform and preparing to leave, records show.

The apparatus was unable to respond to the call due to McConnaughhay’s actions, according to his suspension paperwork.

Records show McConnaughhay had also failed to respond to a call for service in December 2019 after instead going to use a restroom.

In August, in a separate incident, McConnaughhay wrote defamatory and derogatory text next to a colleague’s name on a shift board, records confirm.

He also cut crew names and contact information from a personnel list without permission, according to the same records.

Suspension paperwork states the defacing of SAFD documents was part of an attempt by McConnaughhay to target a captain “with whom he had a quarrelsome history.”

McConnaughhay, whose behavior was described in records as “inappropriate and disrespectful,” was found to have violated SAFD rules that included conduct and behavior, relationships with coworkers, mutual respect, courtesy and insubordination.

About the Author

Emmy-award winning reporter Dillon Collier joined KSAT Investigates in September 2016. Dillon's investigative stories air weeknights on the Nightbeat and on the Six O'Clock News. Dillon is a two-time Houston Press Club Journalist of the Year and a Texas Associated Press Broadcasters Reporter of the Year.

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