Accomack County Supervisors Sanction Onley Fire-Rescue; Financial Irregularities Cited

The Onley Volunteer Fire and Rescue department, located in Accomack County on Virginia’s Eastern Shore, has been informed by the county’s Board of Supervisors while financial issues within the fire company are investigated, their county-to-department payments will be closely evaluated prior to payment.

Citing up to $500,000 in funds that are unaccounted for, the BOS has instituted a plan of strict guidelines for financial reimbursement, and will not distribute money to the department as a routine matter.

Recently, the Eastern Shore Post look reported on the matter:

In a letter sent to supervisors last week, [Onley Fire Chief W.R.] Ferguson said the company is stronger as the result of a recent reorganization, response time has improved and membership has grown. “As a result of a discovery (in November) of possible financial irregularities … immediate changes were made … and proper corrective action was taken.”

Ferguson took over as chief. Chris Davis, who recently retired as a Nofolk fire captain-paramedic is assistant chief. His wife, Karen, CEO of Hospice of the Eastern Shore, is the new treasurer. A lawyer and a new bookkeeper were hired, paper records were transferred to computer, by-laws were rewritten and a board of directors comprised of civic leaders is overseeing operations. Ferguson said the last five years of financial records have been reconciled, a reorganization task force was formed and an operating budget and plans for an audit were made.

Read more about the Board’s response to the reorganization of the volunteer fire-rescue company at:  http://matchbin-assets.s3.amazonaws.com/public/sites/679/assets/BJ9U_02.22.2013.pdf

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