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New audit finds lax fiscal policies at NCC fire company

Photo courtesy: Belvedere Fire Co. Facebook page

State Auditor Tom Wagner says the Belvedere Volunteer Fire Company is “plagued with mismanagement” in a new report released Thursday.



The report outlines a failure to pay EMTs for the entire month of April 2014, and 25 paychecks also bouncing between January and April that year.


The state Attorney General’s office requested the audit in March, which revealed a nearly seven-month lapse in accounting records in 2014. The company says that data was lost during a software upgrade.


Auditors pieced together some records through bank statements that show nearly 25 percent of their expenditures from January through August last year were deemed “high-risk” and questionable. No company policy requires receipts with credit card purchases.


It also shows that more than 80 percent of bill payments made by the fire company were at least a month late, with at least one nearly a year past due.


Former Belvedere Fire Chief Vaughn Rider was sentenced to 18 months of probation after pleading guilty to theft and forgery charges, as well as stealing from the Wilmington Fire Fighters Association, prompting the review.


Fire company officials could not be reached for comment.