State Auditor: Rampant Abuse Of Tax Dollars In Garrett Fire District

Reported by: Tom Kenny
Set Text Size SmallSet Text Size MediumSet Text Size LargeSet Text Size X-Large
Share
Updated: 10/30/2012 10:23 pm

State Auditor Adam Edelen on Tuesday released a special examination of the Garrett Fire District and Garret Area Volunteer Fire Department in Floyd County, finding more than $123,000 in questionable expenditures, hundreds of pornographic videos on department electronics and numerous financial management and oversight problems.

The auditor’s office performed the exam in cooperation with the Kentucky State Police. The exam has been referred to KSP.

The former assistant chief/treasurer was reported as a missing person in March before it was learned that he had unexpectedly left the state.

“The magnitude of abuse at such a small fire department is shocking,” Edelen said. “Taxpayers in Floyd County ought to be outraged that one individual appears to have used fire department resources on everything from televisions to chewing tobacco and pornography.”

The exam, prompted by concerns from the Garrett Fire District Board of Trustees and the department chief, contains 17 findings and 72 recommendations.

Among other expenditures, auditors identified more than $62,000 in questionable cash withdrawals, $16,500 in restaurant charges, $4,600 in shopping gift cards from one store and $839 on fireworks.

The exam found the former assistant chief purchased a vehicle with department funds and opened a store credit card in the department’s name without authorization from the board.

Two flat-screen televisions, a laptop computer, digital camera, personal care items, alcohol, chewing tobacco and purchases made-out-of-state were charged to the card and paid for with department funds. All the electronics are missing.

“Time and again my office finds lack of proper board oversight is the real culprit when taxpayer dollars are abused,” Edelen said. “I applaud the Garrett fire district board for coming forward with its concerns and implore those who serve on boards – from big school districts to tiny fire districts – to know their responsibilities and take them seriously.”

The exam found the former assistant chief paid himself more than $8,000 without approval. On at least three occasions, payments made to the district or department totaling $4,000 were not deposited.

Over 800 pornographic videos were found on a department computer, external drive and USB drive.

False financial reporting was provided to the district board and department and various financial records were missing.

The district also did not obtain required financial statement audits or submit required financial reports to the state Department for Local Government or IRS.  As a result, it lost its tax-exempt status.

To review the audit's findings, click here.

Share
0 Comment(s)
Comments: Show | Hide

Here are the most recent story comments.View All

No comments yet!
Most Popular
Car Flips On I-64 In Fayette Co.
A woman went to the hospital after a crash Wednesday night along Interstate 64 in Fayette County. Video Video
Former Pastor Accepts Plea Deal to Sex Abuse Charges
A former Wayne County pastor who had been indicted on 13 counts of rape in 2011 accepted a plea deal Tuesday.
Lawmakers toughen accountability for districts
A bill aimed at strengthening accountability standards for Kentucky's school districts has won final approval from state lawmakers.
Part Of Bluegrass Pkwy. To Temporarily Close In Woodford Co.
Part of the Bluegrass Parkway in Woodford County will be temporarily closed Thursday. The state said crews would be cleaning up rock slide debris from 9:00 a.m. to noon.
Proposed Walmart In Versailles Causing Controversy
A Walmart Supercenter may be coming to Versailles, but families there have mixed feelings about the development. Video Video
Inergize Digital This site is hosted and managed by Inergize Digital.

WTVQ.com supports children's privacy rights. All persons under the age of 13 MUST have parental permission to use this website and direct parental supervision is strongly recommended.