The Block Island Fire Department, in the course of doing an annual review of its financial records, uncovered what is being termed an “accounting discrepancy,” a matter that has now been turned over to the New Shoreham Police Department for a criminal investigation.
The Fire Department issued a statement at its meeting on Monday, May 14, with Secretary Beth Rousseau saying there would be no further comment on the matter.
The statement is reprinted here in full. The individual involved was not named in the statement:
“During the annual review of the Department’s financial records for our 2017 income tax filing, some accounting discrepancies were discovered. There was an immediate internal audit started and the findings have been turned over to the New Shoreham Police Department for criminal investigation.”
“Our main concern is to maintain our fiduciary responsibility to the taxpayers of Block Island and all who donate to the Block Island Volunteer Fire Department.”
“We would like you to know that this appears to be an isolated incident that occurred over several months, by one person. This person is no longer an active member of this Department.”
“We have insurance that covers us in the event of a deliberate loss of money from our accounts and further safeguards are being instituted to prevent this from happening again.”
Police Chief Vin Carlone underscored the statement from the Fire Department.
“This was an isolated incident involving a single person over a period of months,” Carlone said. “Because of the good accounting practices of the Fire Department, this was immediately recognized.”
Carlone said the matter was under investigation “and will be dealt with appropriately.”