Firefighters threaten walkout amidst corruption, embezzlement claims

Town officials said the department went $75,000 over budget last year and don't know where the money is going


By FireRescue1 Staff

WALKERVILLE, Mich. — Firefighters are threatening to quit if officials do not approve a department budget.

WOODTV.com reported that Walkerville Area Fire Authority went $75,000 over budget last year. Three surrounding townships will meet Saturday to vote on a new budget.

"It's just been one battle after another," Fire Chief Jerry Frick said.

Town officials said the budget is "out of hand."

"[Chief Frick is] trying to get us to pay the bills, but not telling us where the money is going," treasurer David Krupee said.

Chief Frick said the overdue amount was less than $75,000 and that it was all accounted for, according to the report.

"Then it started in: 'There's corruption.' And rumors just flying all over the place," Chief Frick said.

Crews said they will stop responding if officials do not pass the budget. However, neighboring departments will provide mutual aid if firefighters stage a walkout.

"They don't want to [quit]. These members are here to serve the people," Chief Frick said. "And it just breaks their hearts with all this stuff going on and it's like you're getting stabbed in the back every time you turn around."

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