Officials Investigate Questionable Spending By Volunteer Fire Department

By: Jeff Allen Email
By: Jeff Allen Email

New developments after Bell County officials seized control of their volunteer fire department.

Officials are investigating what they call questionable spending practices in the fire department's books.

This is including money that was supposed to be given to a children's charity, but never actually made it.

You may have seen members of the Bell County Volunteer Fire Department collecting for the Crusade For Children.

It’s a charity that they do every June.

The judge executive says when they took control Tuesday night, they realized that money had never been turned in.

Containers full of thousands of dollars that Bell County volunteer firefighters collected for the Crusade for Children last June were sitting in an open vault and the county judge says it wasn't locked up.

The Bell County sheriff is now counting all the money that was found.

A spokeswoman for the fire department claims the money was locked up and they were planning on sending the money to the charity after they collected more this year.

The judge says it may have already affected Bell County children.

“We haven't been able to receive any grant money because we haven't donated any. The children have been cheated,” Judge Executive Albey Brock said.

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  • by grateful citizen Location: Bell County on Jun 24, 2007 at 07:30 PM
    Randall, cooler heads are prevailing. The facts were put forth to a federal judge and the dept is now back in the hands of the original dept members. You will now be getting the best possible services for your money. Remember, these people are helping you all as volunteers. They don't ask for money or anything else so please support them in all they do and continue to do. Look at it this way....many many people bad mouthed them yet there they are, still willing to help any and all of the people in Bell County. I am thankful that they are there helping to protect my home. God bless you all.
  • by Anonymous on Jun 22, 2007 at 07:34 PM
    Looks like the J-E was in the wrong all the way around doesn't it??
  • by Randall Location: Pineville on Jun 22, 2007 at 06:41 AM
    This would be a good time to let cooler heads prevail. Let's get all the facts on the table and a proposed solution. If it's just bad management, let's get good management in place. If it's more serious, act accordingly. The J-E has an opportunity to put a quality operation in place so let's see how he does. The bottom line is always are we getting the best possible service for the money we're paying. Hopefully, the J-E can give a full accounting of the facts once all investigation is complete so we can form our own opinions. For once, let's come out of this better than when we started.
  • by Anonymous on Jun 21, 2007 at 06:18 AM
    Well John I would like to answer some of your comments. Let me start by saying that yes, Larry Browning was an excellent chief, but he resigned as the chief. He put it his time and effort and he did a good job. After him came Burton, but he wasn't there for long. Next came the chief that was just removed.The new fire truck has rescue tools on it so that the FD may assist the Rescue Squad. The Rescue Squad has even used those tools off of that truck so it is a good thing that it is here in the county. The Excursion was at the chief's house because it saved time in him running all the way to Headquarters to pick up another truck. He often times made it to a scene before a regular truck did. As for the stations, I have no clue.
  • by John Location: Bell on Jun 21, 2007 at 04:08 AM
    I would like to comment on the entire situation on the fire dept. Larry Browning is one of the few, maybe the only one, still alive that aided in starting the fire dept in the beginning. When he was still holding the position of Cheif for those many years the department was run to the upmost of his ability and was very affective at what they volunteered to do. It makes a big difference when you have someone that cared enough for the County to help start a service as they provided, they would make for darn sure it was run effectively and managed the dept. so that it was able to provide the best of its services for what money was set aside for the dept. I know we haven't heard the side of the story from the former Cheif, but someone explain to me why the BCVFD had just recently purchased a four wheel drive fire truck for search and rescue? Isn't that why we have a rescue squad? Also about the stations that the dept. was going to close. What was it costing to keep the stations running? Brownies Creek station for instance has a fairly new fire truck been paid off for some time now, where is the bills, electric and water, how bad can those expenses be? Also the Cheif driving a new Ford excursion that sat at his house all the time. Many times been seen being used for personal use. Is that how tax payers would like there money to be spent? Not my portion.
  • by fred Location: bell county on Jun 20, 2007 at 05:42 PM
    i have lost the comment page on bell county fire department.


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