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Fiscal Misappropriation Issues Plague Local Volunteer Fire Departments

December 31st, 2015 by WCBC Radio

When it was announced this week that four members of a Westernport family were indicted in connection with the alleged theft of more than $50,000 from the Tri-Towns Ambulance and Rescue Squad- it became just the latest in a series of fiscal misappropriation issues with local volunteer fire departments.  In recent years, financial irregularities have been uncovered in other volunteer fire departments in Allegany County, including Baltimore Pike and Clarysville that resulted in criminal charges. The McCoole Volunteer Fire Department closed several years ago as the result of financial difficulties. There was a grand jury review of the McCoole matter but no indictment was returned. In neighboring Mineral County, the Short Gap Volunteer Fire Department was the victim of an embezzlement that resulted in an arrest and conviction in recent years. Earlier this year, indictments were returned following an investigation of financial records at the Ridgeley Volunteer Fire Department. The defendants who were members of the departments are awaiting trial in that case.  Dick DeVore, chairman of the Allegany County Emergency Services Board that oversees fire and EMS organizations in the county tells WCBC News that all of the incidents, including this most recent, are from several years ago- noting that the county has new procedures and safeguards in place…


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