Posted at: 10/05/2012 11:53 PM
By: Dan Levy
WEVERTOWN - The town supervisor in Wevertown has a strange dilemma on his hands. Three fire trucks are missing from the Wevertown Fire Company, and he has no idea where they could be.
After town officials began questioning the credentials and competency of Wevertown firefighters earlier this year, and say they got no cooperation, the town shut off all fire company funding, which forced the fire company to shut down.
Last week, all of a sudden, not only was the fire company idle, it was also empty. When asked where the fire trucks could be, Supervisor Ron Vanselow responded, "You got me?"
Vanselow says he suspected something like this might happen ever since a town board meeting in June when he says Wevertown's Fire Chief Jarrett Brown told the board that anyone left on the roster of the defunct fire company can sell the fire equipment and pocket the proceeds."
With that information, Vanselow got a temporary restraining order to make sure the fire equipment and apparatus stayed put, but apparently his response time was a little late.
"The TRO was granted at 11:30 on the 28th (of September) and we have witnesses who saw the last truck pull out two hours before the TRO was issued," Vanselow said.
Vanselow says he doesn't want to make any accusations that he can't back up, but he also says he believes Fire Chief Jarrett Brown took it upon himself to liquidate some of the fire company's assets, although Vanselow stopped short of labeling what ever took place as criminal.
Regarding the whereabouts of any proceeds there might be, if, in fact, equipment was sold, Vanselow replied, "Good question?"
Citing his attorney's advice, Brown declined an on camera interview but did say, "I didn't break any laws because who wants to sit behind bars for doing something stupid? The truth will come out on the 18th (of September, when a hearing is scheduled), and when it does, you'll know the whole truth."
Vanselow says the fire trucks do belong to the fire company and not the town, even though they were purchased with taxpayer money. He says he wants to make sure any proceeds from the fire sale, if there was a fire sale, are distributed to other nearby fire companies or rescue squads, as he believes state law dictates.
Vanselow says he has contacted the state attorney general and the Warren County District Attorney's Office about the case. Whether those agencies become further involved depends on what information comes out at the October 18th hearing.