Top runner for RDH old position will ...

Top runner for RDH old position will fit right in

Posted in the Chipley Forum


Panama City Beach, FL

#1 Jan 28, 2013
IMMOKALEE — The Immokalee Fire Chief is back to work even though the fire district takes steps to review allegations of improper use of district funds.
After a four-hour long, tumultuous Immokalee Fire Commission meeting Thursday, with sniping lawyers, heckling from private citizens and a sharp divide amongst the board, commissioners narrowly decided to reinstate Scott Birge as fire chief, even as the commission agreed to ask the state Attorney General’s opinion on Birge’s expenditures.
Birge, who has been chief since July 2009, has been under fire since allegations of misused funds and other issues regarding compliance with the district and district policy were raised at an emergency commissioner meeting on Nov. 2.
Birge had been suspended with pay since that meeting after Commissioner Joe Matthews and outgoing Commissioner Albert Lee unsuccessfully tried to have the chief fired.
Spending complaints against Birge include using the district’s credit card to purchase a nearly $600 membership into a leadership networking organization, an $18 pair of pants at Wal-Mart and another $18 in valet parking fees for travel expenses. Birge also faced questions on failing to create a required 5-year plan, inappropriately reimbursing himself $2,000 for educational courses, not enforcing the district’s purchasing policy and mismanaging compensation time for himself and his staff.
Kenneth Thompson, the district’s attorney, told the board that Birge’s performance was putting the district in “non-compliance” with state statutes and the district’s own policies.
He told the board that some of Birge’s expenditures could be viewed as stealing from the district for personal gain, especially a membership into Biltmore’s Who’s Who network that advertised complimentary airline tickets.
Birge addressed some of the complaints directly. He denied ever receiving tickets from the networking groups. He did admit that he may have made some missteps due to a lack of understanding the district policy. However, he said no violation was made “in defiance” against the board or statutes.
Birge’s attorney, Christopher Marsala, defended Birge’s expenditures, contending that his client’s purchases did benefit the district.
Though some members of the board seemed ready to put an investigation on hold until they could review all of the accusations, Thompson told the Immokalee Fire Commission that if it did not act on the allegations and take steps to investigate, it could be held liable for violation of state statutes.
“I think you have a duty to investigate and find out what happened,” he said.“If you don’t investigate I think you’re violating your duty.”
Before voting to seek the Attorney General office’s opinion and authorize an independent audit, Commissioner Edward “Ski” Olesky complained the district was spending more money on Thompson’s attorney fees,$3,200, than the amount of money Birge was accused of misusing.
While the board unanimously voted to pursue an investigation of the allegations, the vote to reinstate Birge was close. It followed a failed 2-3 vote, which would have put the chief on unpaid suspension. Commissioners Terrie Aviles, Phung Ho and Olesky voted in support of the chief. Matthews and Pam Brown vote for the suspension.
After the commission had made its decision, Thomas Cunningham, the Immokalee firefighter’s union president, said the firefighters stand behind the chief and blamed the district’s lack of leadership for some of his shortcomings.
“The board has failed the chief by not giving direction to him,” he said
A few public speakers, including Fred Thomas, encouraged the board and the chief to better communicate concerns with each other.
After the meeting, the embattled chief said he supported the district’s efforts to investigate his expenses.

Panama City Beach, FL

#2 Jan 28, 2013
shame on you

United States

#3 Jan 28, 2013
Randy Truette you should be ashamed of yourself. Trying to ruin a mans reputation for no reason. We know its you because you have been telling lots of people where to find info online about this man. I have never seen someone so afraid of having a new supervisor as you are. SHAME on you!!! You fight way too hard to trash others reputation but you cant ruin every person who wants to apply. Ever heard of karma? it bites real hard.

Panama City Beach, FL

#4 Jan 28, 2013
Not randy, all is public information, look it up yourself! I nor a none else ruined a reputation, seems he done it all on his own!
Cindy loo

Panama City Beach, FL

#5 Jan 28, 2013
Glenn's Twin?

Panama City Beach, FL

#6 Jan 28, 2013
Welcome in hell.RH knew for years that Glen is not qualified and cerified,he had papers but he did NOTHING,so how come to find some dirt on potential candidate was so easy?

Panama City Beach, FL

#7 Jan 28, 2013
Bocc only wants dirt in county positions why ? Where is a all the money going?
shame on you

United States

#8 Jan 28, 2013
Bones wrote:
Not randy, all is public information, look it up yourself! I nor a none else ruined a reputation, seems he done it all on his own!
Randy has been telling people to go to this site. If you arent are his puppet
shame on you

United States

#9 Jan 28, 2013
I have no cause to care who gets the position but this is a new low for that family

Panama City Beach, FL

#10 Jan 28, 2013
A new low would be stooping to the level of trying to cover up the fact the connections to some are why he will get the job. nothing new for the elected officials. maybe you need to get back to saving lives and running calls instead of posting on topix
shame on you

United States

#11 Jan 29, 2013
Please enlighten those of us that dont know...what is the supposed connection

“Nan Thompson!”

Since: Sep 08


#12 Jan 29, 2013
Ever stop to think,(not that anything like that ever happens on here).... That just perhaps
someone is doing their best to make it look like R.T.

Geeeesh what a concept someone imitating another person...

I read the article... My personal opinion is,
Hire someone that has a clean record... we don't need to start out looking for trouble.. Stealing is stealing.. whether it is a .25 cent pack of gum or a million dollars...
We also don't need to hire school mates, personal friends, neighbors family members, etc...

Panama City Beach, FL

#13 Jan 29, 2013
I hope you are talking about different county becuse in WC there is a contest how much you can still before you get cought.And even then you hear"it was a mistake".Don't you remeber Possum Festival,don't you see how much money is unaccounted from MSBU?Don't you remember the uproar done by fire chiefs when there was a talk about more money control and threats to close fire stations?
Get someone honest

Panama City, FL

#14 Jan 29, 2013
For a change....... someone fresh..... nobody associated with RDH and it will work.

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