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By Hilde Kate Lysiak
The suspensions of four local fire fighters accused of faking meeting minutes and making unauthorized purchases was voted down at a private meeting last night despite evidence of serious violations, sources have exclusively told the Orange Street News.
Members of Dauntless Hook and Ladder Fire Company were alleged to have been using the fire companies accounts —including the fuel account — for the local race track.
The fire company has accounts at local businesses include Coles Hardware, Napa, along with a WalMart credit card. It has been alleged that some of the firefighters have used this account to purchase items for the Selinsgrove Speedway.
“Members found invoices that were marked as purchases for the race track,” the source tells the OSN.
Members have also been accused of buying discounted fuel for the Selinsgrove Speedway. That meant the fuel was bought without paying all the taxes even though the race track is supposed to pay taxes. The fuel is pumped at the Borough shed at their private fuel station.
One fire fighter “was observed putting fuel into gas cans and five gallon buckets, and even told the members that saw him, that he was taking it to the race track,” according to sources.
However, despite all the evidence the suspensions were voted down because the four who are alleged to have committed violations are high up in the department and brought members in who haven’t been active or attended meetings in months to be part of the vote, according to sources.
“The case that the fire company presented, no matter how compelling, was going to get voted down,” added the source. “They only came to crush the investigation.”
The Fire Company’s account is set up to automatically be a tax exempt account because it’s a non profit organization. The race track is not tax exempt. But the OSN has discovered that several members of the Fire Company have money ties to the Selinsgrove Speedway.
The Fire Company refused to allow OSN to attend the meeting — claiming it was “not public.”
The DH&L Fire Company is a 100% Volunteer Fire Company and has a great reputation in the community. Sources told the OSN that the problems are the result of “a few bad apples.”
After the OSN broke the story, DH&L Fire Company Chief Brandon Ulrich told the OSN that the information should have never gone public. “This is a internal investigation that should never have been leaked out and will be handled accordingly.”
The OSN has reached out to Chief Ulrich and will print his response to the most recent allegations ASAP.
When contacted, the Penn Township Supervisors claimed they couldn’t give the OSN any information.
Borough Manager Paul Williams, when asked about the suspensions, told the Orange Street News last week that he wasn’t going to comment.
“It’s a personnel matter,” Williams told the OSN.
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