Category Archives: Fire District – LMRFD

Pretrial conference re. $24000 theft from LMRFD — collusion and obstruction?

This is truly bizarre.    LMRFD chairwoman Deb Cass took this matter OFF the agenda at yesterday’s fire district board meeting.  The board was to provide updates on the prosecution of Phillip Picard, but Deb refused any discussion.

That really leaves me wondering what chairwoman Cass is covering up!   There’s something really wrong when a fire board member continually insists on NOT investigating and reporting on CRIMINAL activity.   While this $24k payroll theft is not exactly small potatoes, I’d want to know what happened if it was only $240.

My previous post about this theft:

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

I asked Deb WHY she voted AGAINST prosecuting Picard and she stated that he paid back what he stole.

So my next question for Deb is why she doesn’t care to find out HOW this $24k theft happened without chief Anthony DeMaio noticing.

WHY, Deb?

Here is the 5/14/19 Grand Jury Indictment:
2019-5-14–GrandJury-Picard

Picard’s arraignment was on 6/10/19 and he appeared telephonically as he now resides in Illinois and he was represented by attorney Troy Anderson.

2019-6-10–Arraignment

Unfortunately, the court filing doesn’t include much info:

… Discussion ensues as to other cases that are pending, discovery and possible enhancement motions. The Court reads the charges, and advises the Defendant of the possible range of penalties involved. Discussion ensues as to any pending plea offer, and victim’s rights, if applicable. ..

The fire district should have had someone at the arraignment to report specifics.  Picard plead NOT guilty! So WHO did it?

The pretrial conference is scheduled for next Monday, 7/1 at 10 am, and I hope “someone” will be there to report what happened.

From the Mohave Daily article:

… 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.” …

If Picard didn’t “purposefully” steal the $24k, who did?

More realistically, how did Picard pull this off without chief DeMaio noticing?

Was DeMaio in on it?

How did Picard pay the $24k back?

Maybe chairwoman Deb Cass has some answers?

If not, why don’t you care, Deb?

Collusion and obstruction?

Trumpesque.


Hello Deb,

Your attempts to bury the Picard theft are very suspicious.   I therefore request your comments regarding my post at [this page] and your explanation for removing the discussion of the Picard prosecution from the LMRFD agenda.

I also request that you add the Picard prosecution again to each agenda for updates until the matter is resolved and we all know what happened.  You may not care how Picard pulled this $24k theft off, but the residents whose lives depend on LMRFD have the right to know how this happened, what the district has done to prevent future thefts and why you, the chairwoman of the LMRFD board, do not care to get to the truth.

Thanks!

Christine

Deb’s 6/26/19 response:

Christine

Thank you for your concerns but I don’t feel it’s appropriate to respond as one board member to the Picard matter.  I can suggest you reach out to Administration, Karen who could help you with this.

Thank you,

Deb

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 aContinue Reading

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