NY Chief Charged With Stealing Fuel From FD

A New York fire chief has been charged with grand larceny for allegedly stealing gasoline from his fire department.

Fire Chief Duane Royal of the Pennellville Volunteer Fireman’s Association is accused of stealing $2700 worth of gas following an audit and investigation by New York State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli. He was charged by the New York State Police.

Chief Royal reportedly admitted using the fuel on personal business. DiNapoli was quoted as saying “Once again we see another alleged crime that was easily prevented by proper oversight.” The audit uncovered a number of other financial improprieties in the volunteer fire company, including $134,882 in undocumented receipts.

According to a press release issued by DiNapoli’s office:

DiNapoli made 16 recommendations to the VFA board and Treasurer, including:

  • Strengthen internal controls with specific guidance for cash receipts and disbursements;
  • Train the treasurer to adequately perform his or her duties and require monthly reports on financial transactions;
  • Strengthen fuel purchase controls; and
  • Maintain detailed financial records related to cash transactions, fundraising events and loans to members.

More on the story.

DiNapoli’s complete press release.

About Curt Varone

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.
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