The Young County Rural Fire Department Board of Directors is keeping its eye on Newcastle. Chief Calvin Daigle has been accused of abusing his office of power and now some citizens are concerned.
The city of Newcastle is divided over the dealings of their volunteer Fire Department. Some are accusing the Fire Chief of being reckless, yet many are saying that he is the best Chief the city has ever had. Either way, the citizens of Newcastle are taking notice and taking action.
According to Newcastle Mayor and Assistant Fire Chief Stephen J. Sosinski, "all of the comments that I get from citizens are negative and they think that he should either resign or be removed from office."
Some of the allegations against the Daigle are misappropriation of funds, lying to officials, and not following the department bylaws. According to Young County Commissioner John C. Bullock, allegations don't necessarily mean guilt.
"I don't think there was any solid evidence that backed up the evidence," says Commissioner Bullock. "Not saying the allegations weren't real or untrue. I just haven't seen the documentation."
At the center of the allegations is the misuse of funds for a department vehicle. Firefighters say that a newly purchased suburban serves as a mobile command unit that provides supplies at the site of a fire. According to the firefighters that Newschannel 6 spoke to, the vehicle is a necessity and was approved by the entire department. Others say that it is an extra expense that the department doesn't need.
No matter the charges, members of the fire department are worried about their chief.
"We are concerned for our department mainly because chief Daigle is the best chief we've had in a long time," says Andy Jones, Chaplin of the Newcastle Fire Department.
Chief Daigle has gotten his final warning from the Young County Rural Volunteer Fire Department Board of Directors. If he is found to do anything wrong, he will be forced to resign.
No matter the controversy, most in Newcastle support the fire department and say they will continue to support their volunteers.
All Newcastle residents are encouraged to voice their support or concerns at a meeting at the volunteer fire station on Sunday, September 5th at 6 p.m.