MARTINEZ — A Contra Costa County official arrested earlier this month is facing felony and misdemeanor charges. The county EMS chief is accused of embezzlement and possession of controlled substances.
Richard P. Stephenson, 50, chief of emergency medical services, was arrested January 6th, following an investigation launched by Martinez police.
Stephenson is now on administrative leave, while the Contra County Fire Protection District conducts its own internal investigation. His work allowed Stephenson access to narcotics.
Stephenson was able to access pharmaceutical bins, fire trucks and various drug disposal areas, handled by the county.
Martinez police were tipped off by Stephenson’s landlady who rents him a room. She found dozens of vials of suspected illicit drugs and hypodermic needles while cleaning his room. The items were found inside a laundry basket, and elsewhere in his room.
Investigators suspect Stephenson was in detox at the time of his arrest, and of selling drugs on the street. Stephenson is accused of stealing controlled substances from the county to support his personal drug addiction.
Stephenson was arrested at his Martinez home for possession of suspected fentanyl and midazolam. He was booked and subsequently released from jail.
Stephenson faces two separate embezzlement charges, and two separate charges for drug possession.
His next court appearance is scheduled for February 26 at the Contra Costa County Superior Courthouse.