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Terminated Fountain Fire Chief drops defamation lawsuit against former fire captain

Court records: Lawsuit against Nathan Mascarenas dismissed without prejudice
James Maxon
Posted at 6:09 PM, Feb 17, 2022
and last updated 2022-02-17 20:09:55-05

FOUNTAIN, Colo. — A defamation lawsuit filed by former Fountain Fire Chief James Maxon against two current employees and one former employee has been modified.

Court records show Maxon filed a motion on Feb. 15, dismissing Nathan Mascarenas, a former fire captain from the suit. It's unclear why Maxon decided to drop Mascarenes from the case. 

According to the complaint which you can read here in its entirety, Maxon claims that false rumors of sexual harassment were made against him. 

"Defendants have fabricated and encouraged women to make unfounded allegations of sexual harassment by Chief Maxon," the lawsuit states. 

The case now only names Ryan Torres and Tyler Lowe as defendants. 

Lowe is a current firefighter/EMT with FFD, according to a city spokesperson. 

Torres is now the interim chief. 

Back in December, the city placed Maxon on administrative leave pending the outcome of an investigation. City officials have declined to release specific details surrounding his leave status. 

This week, News 5 learned the city and Maxon had separated. 

"I can confirm that his employment was terminated, pending an appeal," city spokesperson Cass Cameron said. 

ALLEGATIONS AGAINST MASCARENAS

"Mr. Mascarenas was previously a captain with the Fountain Fire Department until he was terminated by Chief Maxon after he conducted an independent investigation and determined that Mr. Mascarenas had harassed women and made racist comments," the lawsuit alleged. "Among other things, Mr. Mascarenas repeatedly harassed and demeaned women and argued that they should not be firefighters due to their limitations. Mr. Mascarenas laughingly referred to African Americans as 'chocolate cake'.

Attorney Jack Donley represents Mascarenas.

"Mr. Mascarenas denies the allegations in the Complaint," Donley said via email. "He was not fired by the City of Fountain nor did he defame Chief Maxon nor commit any of the acts that Complaint alleges. All of the claims made against him were baseless."

As new information on this lawsuit becomes available, we'll be sure to pass it along to you.