Defunct Volunteer Fire Association Turns Over Funds To Town

A lengthy battle over funds from a now-defunct volunteer fire association in Maine has finally been settled. The Town of South Thomaston has been seeking roughly $15,000 from the former South Thomaston Firemen’s Association.

The association funds reportedly came from fundraising activities intended to help purchase new equipment. According to the town, it made numerous attempts to recover the funds after the association disbanded in 2007. According to two former association officials, former Fire Chief Wayne Brown and former firefighter Colin Grierson, the association funds were earmarked to help the town purchase a new Class A pumper.

However, according to Chief Brown and FF Grierson, the town sought to use the funds to purchase another piece of apparatus in 2014, and reneged on its promise to purchase a Class A pumper. A lawsuit ensued resulting in a trial last October and a decision last February in favor of the town. In ruling for the town, Judge William Stokes stated:

“It is obvious to the court, based on the evidence presented at the trial, that the defendants [Chief Brown and FF Grierson] have strong and bitter feelings toward the town of South Thomaston and its municipal officers, and it was that bitter resentment that motivated both defendants to evade and avoid turning over the Association’s funds to the town, and even misrepresent their knowledge as to the whereabouts of the funds.”

Last Friday, the town was paid $14,915 in four checks essentially resolving the matter.

More on the story.

 

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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