How could LMRFD chief Tony DeMaio NOT notice $24,000 payroll fraud?

Just when I think I’ve seen it all!
How could chief DeMaio NOT notice this $24k theft by fire fighter Phillip Picard?
I’ve heard that he’s friends with Picard.  The chief’s administrative assistant works from home.  About half the LMRFD firefighters are leaving WITH DeMaio as he is resigning.  Has anyone audited THEIR time sheets?

WHAT is going on with our fire district?

From the Mohave Valley Daily News:

Former Dolan Springs firefighter accused of embezzlement

KINGMAN — Criminal charges have been filed against a firefighter accused of embezzling funds from a rural fire district headquartered in Dolan Springs.

Phillip Picard, 31, is charged with 10 counts of forgery and single counts of fraud and theft in a complaint filed in Kingman Justice Court.

A Mohave County Sheriff’s Office investigation was initiated late last June after Lake Mohave Ranchos Fire District governing board and staff members conducted their own probe. It was initiated after LMRFD Administrative Assistant Karen Jackson discovered payroll anomalies on March 6, 2018.

A sheriff’s office report said that Jackson detected discrepancies in hours claimed and work performed by Picard. Fire District Board Chairman Debora Cass contacted the sheriff’s office to relay the findings of the internal investigation.

“It was discovered that a fireman, Phillip Picard, had embezzled over $24,000,” Detective Wes Bauer wrote in his sheriff’s office report. It said that Fire Chief Tony DeMaio reached an agreement with Picard that Picard would reimburse the district.

Picard wrote fire district board members on his own behalf expressing surprise that numerous time sheets had been submitted for dates and hours he did not work.

“I informed Chief DeMaio and Karen that I want to make this right with the district and reimburse whatever overpayment has been made,” Picard said in an undated statement that is quoted in Bauer’s report. “From the bottom of my heart I would never purposefully steal from the fire district and only want to make it right by paying all wages that were incorrectly paid to me.”

DeMaio informed governing board members by email on April 30, 2018, that Picard had completed repayment in full. Cass subsequently informed the sheriff’s office on multiple occasions that the fire district desired prosecution, regardless of the repayment.

The sheriff’s office report indicated that Picard moved out of state months ago. That residency issue might cause delays in case prosecution.

So the administrative assistant Karen Jackson noticed this ONGOING theft — and she’s NEVER at the station, works from her home.
Chief DeMaio NEVER noticed ANYTHING!

I don’t have an issue with Picard. Unlike most thieves, he actually made restitution.

My issue is with chief DeMaio.

He needs to be fully investigated.  We need to know WHY he let this happen, WHY he made this deal with Picard.  How could DeMaio NOT notice?   Did he get a cut?
I don’t know whether the $24k are net to Picard or gross to LMRFD.  At $12/hr, let’s say it costs the district $20/hr.  That’s 1200 hours, or 25 48-hour shifts.  On average, $1,333/month for 18 months or 67 hours/month — stolen from the district while DeMaio is asleep at the wheel or getting a cut?
How could DeMaio NOT notice?
But the administrative assistant who has NO idea when Picard worked DID notice — $24,000 later …

There’s no need to ruin Picard’s reputation, he’s just another minion.  We need to ensure that chief DeMaio doesn’t go on to destroy other fire districts.

This is only one of MANY issues with the chief, please see Issues with chief Anthony DeMaio for much more info about DeMaio’s incompetence.

Most interesting, you can see how worthless the annual audits are. 

And I also understand now why the board members can’t have access to the accounting data and the chief always complained about the board asking too many questions.

ALL accounting should be viewable by anyone — the public pays for this nightmare of a fire district and the PEOPLE have the right to see how their hard earned money is wasted and stolen.

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