On the heels of several high profile cases of embezzlement, the state legislature of Delaware has created a task force to investigate fraud, theft, and mismanagement in the volunteer fire service.
According to Delawareonline, “Hundreds of thousands of dollars have disappeared from fire companies’ coffers in recent years. These cases, only brought to light when reported to the state by the companies themselves, almost always involved high-level officials such as treasurers.”
With the exception of Wilmington, fire protection in Delaware is provided by volunteer fire companies. There are a total of 60 of the fire companies, who file an annual report to the state’s Fire Prevention Commission.
The task force will include members from the Delaware House and Senate, the State Fire Prevention Commission, local volunteer companies, members of the public, the state auditor, a representative from the Office of the Controller General, and representatives appointed by each county.
Curt Varone has over 40 years of fire service experience and 30 as a practicing attorney licensed in both Rhode Island and Maine. His background includes 29 years as a career firefighter in Providence (retiring as a Deputy Assistant Chief), as well as volunteer and paid on call experience. He is the author of two books: Legal Considerations for Fire and Emergency Services, (2006, 2nd ed. 2011, 3rd ed. 2014) and Fire Officer's Legal Handbook (2007), and is a contributing editor for Firehouse Magazine writing the Fire Law column.