Oatman Fire Chief’s Expenses Called Into Question

Published by The Bee News

June 25, 2018

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OATMAN–Board members of the Oatman Fire District are questioning recent debt card purchases allegedly made by Oatman Fire Chief Gary Lambertson.

In the minutes of the June 19 meeting, Clerk of the Board James Tobin voiced his concerns over the amount of debit charges reportedly being spent on food, fuel and store charges at Home Depot and Walmart.

Tobin stated he was aware the department was outfitting their trucks, however, no documentation or receipts have yet to be provided to dispute the alleged credit card charges.

Tobin has requested Chief Lambertson provide the fire board with the documentation/receipts of the items that were reportedly purchased with the district’s card.

In addition, Tobin is questioning $600 dollars in cash withdrawals.

Tobin reportedly informed Chief Lambertson at the June meeting, he is not permitted to take cash withdrawals or reimburse himself without going through the standard procedures.

Board Chairman Tim Brown said he would reimburse for any out-of-pocket expenses. However, food expenses on a regular basis would not be allowed.

In other board discussion:

  • The brush truck is almost ready to put into service. They are needing one final piece that is hard to find at this time. The board is informed the district has spent $4,800 to retrofit the brush truck for operation.
  • An email by an employee was brought to the attention of Chief Lambertson, who reportedly declined to comment. The details of the email were not made public.
  • Discussion regarding a motor vehicle accident involving a three-wheel motorcycle and a quad. The accident resulted in two injuries with transport to a local hospital.
  • A reported issue with dispatch billing was discussed. The board discussed billing as a Type 6 or Type 3. Chief Lambertson will research the issue further and report at the next board meeting.
  • The district budget is due July, and it did not appear a projected budget was created or any projected rolled over. Chief Lambertson said he would get with the county on both those issues.
  • Financial reports were as followed–Ops Account balance is $4,014.31 and the Warrant Account balance is $33,150.48.

The next scheduled board meeting will be July 10 at Oatman Fire Station, 4948 S. Oatman Highway.

The Bee will update this story as it develops.


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