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White Co Firefighters Strengthen Rules In Aftermath Of Theft

/ The Upper Cumberland's News Leader
White Co Firefighters Strengthen Rules In Aftermath Of Theft

Multiples eyes on transactions, new protocols in place. Those among the changes from the White County Firefighters Association designed to reassure the community in the wake of a financial theft indictment.

Brittney Hope Webb, the former treasurer of White County’s Mt. Gilead Volunteer Fire Department, stole more than $73,000 from that department as well as the White County Firefighters Association. Jason Sparks chairs the Association.

“I think we need to reassure them that measures are in place to prevent any sort of incident in the future and that we have very close oversight over all those type things,” Sparks said. “We have a tremendous set of professionals in place right now that have the public’s best interest at heart, and we continue to work in that direction. We are training frequently. We are trying to do the right things every day to earn the public’s trust and let them know that we’re there for them.”

Sparks, who was not chair of the association at the time of the theft, said new protocols have been put in place. At the same time, leadership paying even closer attention to rules that were already set.

“It’s multiple eyes being on any kind of transactions,” Sparks said. “It’s multiple signatures required for any type of transaction. The finance director and White County Finance Department has graciously allowed us to sort of utilize them, too, for oversight of some of the things the association does and especially the finances. So that helps, too.”

Because volunteer departments rely so heavily on donations from local residents, Sparks said the indictment hurts even more.

“Many of those fire departments depend on support, financially and otherwise, from the public,” Sparks said. “And of course, it’s also important because anytime tax dollars are involved or public funds are involved, we want to be as open and transparent about that as possible. It’s important to us that the people we’re going to help trust us.”

Though the public announcement of Webb’s indictment came Friday, Sparks said the issue is behind the association. With more stringent monitoring of money transactions, Sparks said the firefighters are looking to the future. Sparks said the public plays a vital role in the health of the local departments across White County.

“We appreciate them tremendously,” Sparks said. “I mean, we couldn’t do what we’re able to do without their support, both from a financial standpoint and otherwise. And so we appreciate the county and everything they’ve done to help, and we certainly appreciate the public for their continued support.”


The post White Co Firefighters Strengthen Rules In Aftermath Of Theft appeared first on News Talk 94.1/AM 1600.