Category Archives: Fire District – LMRFD

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.

Mohave County does NOT care about our fire districts and campaign sign violations

A few weeks ago I tried to look up fire district candidates at the county website.  I wasted a lot of time and found NOTHING.

Eventually I thought about this during County business hours and I called.  I was transferred to a lady who told me that the County does not list the fire district candidates on the web. Anyone can call and they will tell you.

Is there ANYTHING Mohave County could do to show more disregard for the safety of the residents?

My next question was who to contact about  campaign sign violations outside city limits.  Incredibly, she informed me that the County does not enforce regulations.

So here we have Joe Campbell, LMRFD fire district candidate.

His signs are all over Meadview and there is NO mention of who paid for the sign, no website, no email, no phone number, NO way to contact him.

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Monday 10/22/18 next LMRFD board meeting in Meadview

The meeting is at 1:30 pm at the MCA and I just posted the 10/22/18 agenda and once again it includes another giant executive session.

LMRFD had a SPECIAL meeting on 10/10/18 and I posted the agenda and minutes at the forum.  Unfortunately I did not have time to video record what seemed like a very short regular session and I will get audio recording from LMRFD.

The 10/22/18 Agenda

The incompetent administrative assistant Karen Jackson just can’t get the minutes right and we STILL don’t have final minutes since MAY!

4) APPROVAL OF MINUTES.
a. Executive Minutes 6/25/18
b. Regular Minutes 8/27/18
c. Regular Minutes 9/26/18
d. Executive Minutes 9/26/18 (Sets: 1, 2, & 3)
e. Special Minutes 10/10/18
f. Special Executive Minutes 10/10/18

UNBELIEVABLE — you can see why it’s impossible for the two board members who are actually WORKING (Charlotte and Eric) to get things done.

From the Agenda:

b. Fire Chief’s Report (The governing body may not propose, discuss, deliberate or take legal action on this matter unless the specific matter is properly noticed for legal action. Therefore, action taken as a result of the Chief ’s report will be limited to directing staff to study the matter or scheduling the matter for further consideration and discussion at a later date. (A.R.S. 38-431.02.K.)

https://www.azleg.gov/ars/38/00431-02.htm
One of the MANY regs the legislature has to CHANGE:

K. Notwithstanding subsection H of this section, the chief administrator, presiding officer or a member of a public body may present a brief summary of current events without listing in the agenda the specific matters to be summarized, if:

1. The summary is listed on the agenda.

2. The public body does not propose, discuss, deliberate or take legal action at that meeting on any matter in the summary unless the specific matter is properly noticed for legal action.

Think about how truly idiotic this is.

They have MONTHLY meetings. At EVERY regular meeting the chief gives a report.

You’re supposed to discuss the PREVIOUS month’s report at every meeting.

And who remembers that after hearing the NEW report a full month later?

Is that CRAZY or what?

I’m going to ask our state reps to form a committee or task force to make numerous changes to the ARS pertaining to fire districts.  A.R.S. 38-431.02.K should be changed to:

2. The public body does not propose, discuss, deliberate or take legal action at that meeting on any matter in the summary unless the specific matter is properly noticed for legal action.

You can’t even put an issue on the agenda until you know it exists.

If you can’t ASK the chief to clarify or provide more information pertaining to his report and then discuss it, there’s NOTHING to put on the agenda. DUH!

At every meeting we need more info about the calls and other issues the chief reports.

Sadly, chief DeMaio’s reports are always VERY incomplete and are seriously lacking substance.  He has been asked numerous time to provide more details.

Charlotte asked chief DeMayo to prepare a spreadsheet with the calls and he is NOT capable of doing so.

And he is not capable of hiring an administrative assistant who can list the 50 or so calls with location and other pertinent info.

BOTH DeMaio and Jackson should be fired!

Another grueling executive session:

6) EXECUTIVE SESSION.
1. Board of Directors may vote to go into Executive Session for legal advice pursuant to A.R.S. §38-431.03(A)(3), for possible direction to legal counsel pursuant to A.R.S. §38-431.03 (A)(4) and for personnel matters pursuant to A.R.S. §38-431.03 (A)(1) for the following matters:

c. Discussion regarding: Payroll discrepancy matter re: update. (Terrill)
d. Discussion regarding: Liaison for LMRFD re: EEOC complaint. (Cass)
e. Discussion regarding: Investigator for LMRFD re: EEOC complaint; hourly fee and retainer fee. (Cass)
f. Discussion regarding: Board Member Kiffer re: participation in Fire Chief related matters. (Kiffer)
g. Discussion regarding: Information related to possible Board Member Censure; authority for expenditures relating to. (Kiffer)
h. Discussion regarding: Concerns relating to Board Member Kiffer re: possible harassment. (Kiffer)
i. Discussion regarding: Personnel Matter; re: Fire Chief Contract. (Board/Administration)
j. Discussion regarding: VFIS additional coverage/services. (Board/Administration)
k. Discussion regarding: Legal Counsel review of current Administrative Assistant position. (Kiffer)
l. Discussion regarding: Review of legal counsel invoice re: July 15-August 30, 2018. (Board)

WHY is all that in executive session????

And here’s a good one:

“x. Discussion and possible action regarding: Length of Board Meetings; possible cut-off time; remainder items carried over. (Karash)

I think that’s the first time Mike has put anything on the agenda.  If he didn’t always vote with Deb Cass to NOT fire (or order the chief to fire) the incompetent administrative assistant Karen Jackson, the meetings would be a LOT shorter!

LMRFD chief Tony DeMaio and Karen Jackson v. Christine Baker

On 9/20/18 was the justice court hearing regarding LRMRD administrative assistant Karen Jackson’s petition for an injunction due to harassment.   The day before the hearing I received the notice that chief DeMaio also petitioned for an injunction, for defamation and libel. Chief Demaio’s petition and exhibit: 9/11/18 Chief DeMaio’s petition and exhibit Unlike administrativeContinue Reading

LMRFD fire board meeting rescheduled to Wednesday 9/26/18

I heard that the board meeting was rescheduled to Wednesday because attorney Bill Whittington is attending. The agenda is posted at the LMRFD forum. Looks like another exciting board meeting.   t. Discussion and possible action regarding: Certificate of Compliance and Oath of Office re: Ms. Koeppen. (Board) I have NO idea what’s going on.  TheodoraContinue Reading

LMRFD administrative assistant Karen Jackson petitioned for injunction for harassment

Updated 9/9/18 This morning a process server woke me up.  Karen Jackson decided to petition the Kingman justice court for an injunction for “harassment” because I posted that she is “the world’s most incompetent administrative assistant.”  Last time I checked, I’m still entitled to publish my OPINION. In fact, I consider this petition harassment.  I’veContinue ReadingContinue Reading

8/27/18 LMRFD board meeting video and draft minutes

https://forum.highdesertdirt.com/mohave/2018-august/ The DRAFT minutes prepared by the incompetent / corrupt administrative assistant Karen Jackson do NOT reflect what REALLY happened. Is Karen so stupid she thinks that it won’t be noticed that she omitted EXTREMELY important discussion such as director Kiffer asking chairwoman Cass to resign from chair? Don’t you think the minutes should reflectContinue Reading

Ellen Reh-Bower’s complaint calling for the resignation of LMRFD chairwoman Debora Cass

Ellen’s complaint is on the Agenda for Monday’s meeting, but for the EXECUTIVE session.  WHY? e. Discussion regarding: Letter of Complaint re: Director Cass; ethics issues. (Board) Don’t the people who PAY for this MISMANAGED fire district have the RIGHT to know what’s going on? I cannot even remember the last time they had aContinue Reading

LMRFD board meeting in Meadview on Monday 8/27/18

Monday 8/27/18 at the Meadview MCA at 1:30 pm I posted the agenda at the forum: https://forum.highdesertdirt.com/mohave/2018-august/8-27-18-lmrfd-board-meeting-agenda/ My comments about the executive session in BLUE. 6) EXECUTIVE SESSION. 1. Board of Directors may vote to go into Executive Session for legal advice pursuant to A.R.S. §38-431.03(A)(3), for possible direction to legal counsel pursuant to A.R.S.Continue Reading

7/23/18 LMRFD board meeting notes by Ellen Reh-Bower

7/26/18 — by Ellen Reh-Bower Thought I would just hit the high spots from the LMRFD Board meeting Monday, July 23, for those interested. The agenda promised an interesting meeting. A few tidbits came through. Approval of minutes from prior meetings, 4/30/18 – 6/25/18 was finally accomplished after months of Board members requesting corrections. TheContinue Reading