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Temecula fire chief charged with two counts in battery case


Last updated 8/16/2019 at 1:35am

City of Temecula photo

Temecula Fire Chief Jodie Gray pleaded not guilty to two misdemeanor counts following her arrest in June after a domestic disturbance call from her Wildomar home.

Jodie Gray, the city of Temecula's first female fire chief, pleaded not guilty to two misdemeanor counts – battery on a spouse or person whom she is cohabitating with and exhibiting a firearm, not in self-defense – at her arraignment in Riverside Wednesday, Aug. 7.

The charges stem from a reported domestic disturbance involving Gray and another individual living in a residence in Wildomar Saturday, June 1.

"At 11:47 p.m., deputies responded to the report of a domestic disturbance in the 24900 block of Pasture Court, Wildomar," Riverside County Sheriff's Department's Media Information Bureau said after the arrest. "During the investigation, deputies determined a crime occurred and (Gray) was ultimately arrested for misdemeanor battery."

Riverside County Sheriff's online jail booking records indicate the 51-year-old was arrested at 12:20 a.m. by deputies assigned to patrol the Wildomar area. She was later booked into Cois M. Byrd Detention Center in Murrieta on suspicion of domestic battery, a misdemeanor.

Gray was released within hours after her arrest after posting $5,000 bail and was placed on paid administrative leave. A trial readiness conference is scheduled for Sept. 11.

Gray was appointed to the position in February and serves as a liaison between the city which contracts with Cal Fire and the fire agency.

The 28-year fire service veteran replaced former fire Chief Charlie DeHart who retired after three years in the position and became the city's first female fire chief. Along with Temecula police Chief Lisa McConnell, it is the first time that Temecula has had women holding both public safety leadership positions at the same time.

Gray started her fire service career in 1991 as a volunteer firefighter at Home Gardens Fire Station 13 in Corona, and she was hired by Cal Fire Riverside in 1993 as a firefighter I at Perris Station 1. She has been promoted several times throughout Cal Fire in Riverside and San Bernardino counties. In 2013, she was promoted to battalion chief for La Quinta and transferred in 2015 to the San Jacinto Battalion, where she also managed the County Hazardous Material Team Program.

In December 2017, she was promoted to division chief assigned to the Strategic Planning Bureau before being promoted to fire chief for Temecula after a competitive selection process.

Jeff Pack and Trevor Montgomery contributed to this report.


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