Fonseca remains EMS coordinator, medical directors resign
by Coy Slavik, Advance-Guard Editor
Apr 14, 2014 | 404 views | 0 0 comments | 12 12 recommendations | email to a friend | print
GOLIAD – The Goliad County Commissioners Court met for almost 11 hours Monday, including over nine in executive session, with the result being Goliad County EMS Coordinator Peggy Fonseca keeping her position, two county medical directors handing in their resignations and one county commissioner walking out in protest.

After deliberating a combined 12 hours Thursday and Monday in closed session to determine the fate of Fonseca, the county commissioners returned to public session Monday at 8:40 p.m. No motion was made to terminate Fonseca.

The county commissioners then approved to make Dr. Sharon Malone a new medical director by a 3-1 vote. Precinct 4 Commissioner Ted Long voted against Malone's approval and Precinct 2 Commissioner Alonzo Morales abstained. Goliad County Judge David Bowman, Precinct 1 Commissioner Julian Flores and Precinct 3 Commissioner Ronald Bailey voted for Malone's approval.

"She is eminently qualified to be our medical director," Bowman said.

"I would like to know more about this woman and meet her before we come to action," Long said.

Bailey made the motion to hire Malone and it was seconded by Flores.

Long then moved from his customary seat in the courtroom and stood to voice his disapproval of the court's action.

"I don't stand here this evening as a Goliad County commissioner," Long said. "I stand here as Ted Long, American, a Goliad County taxpayer, and all I can say is shame on you, shame, shame, shame, with the possible exception of Mr. Flores. Shame on you."

Long then walked out of the courtroom.

As was the case in Thursday's special meeting, Goliad County Attorney Rob Baiamonte was not allowed to take part in the executive session. An attorney from the Texas Association of Counties counseled Bowman and the county commissioners during the closed meetings.

Fonseca's job performance came into question when medical directors, Drs. Claire Zengerle and Mark Heard, notified the county by letter that they could no longer work with Fonseca and would resign their positions if Fonseca was not terminated.

Zengerle and Heard cited Fonseca's inconsistencies and discrepancies in protocol. Zengerle would comment on the alleged protocol violations, but said the court's decision did not surprise her.

"I'm not surprised at anything," Zengerle said after the meeting.

Fonseca would not comment on specifics of the allegations.

"I'm just glad it's finally over," Fonseca said. "That's all I'm going to say."

Malone lives in Van Alstyne, which is north of Dallas and 370 miles from Goliad. She also currently serves as medical director of the City of Paris, Grayson County College, the City of Whitewright, Lone Star Ambulance, Denison Fire Department, Sherman Fire Department, Preston Volunteer EMS, and Texas Vital Care EMS. She is also the assistant medical director for Collin County.

Texas Department of State Health Services conducted an unannounced inspection of Goliad County's EMS services on Tuesday.
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