Pashinski applauds Auditor General’s release of funding to Wilkes-Barre Township Volunteer Firefighters

WILKES-BARRE, Feb. 1 – State Rep. Eddie Day Pashinski today said he was pleased with the results of Auditor General Eugene DePasquale’s audit that lifted the five-year freeze on state funding to the Wilkes-Barre Township Volunteer Firefighters’ Relief Association after an outstanding, undocumented loan was finally paid.

The Department of the Auditor General withheld more than $252,000 after finding former relief association leaders failed to follow several audit recommendations from as far back as 2006. The auditor general attributed some of the mismanagement to an association officer who pleaded guilty to theft and was ordered to pay $45,000 in restitution to the Wilkes-Barre Township Fire Department.

Pashinski said today’s announcement is great news for the community and for the hard-working volunteers of the fire department.

"The results of the audit and reconciling a past due loan will help restore the once-held good reputation of the department before it was tarnished by poor management practices," said Pashinski. "The association can now refocus on its primary goal of providing emergency services and assistance to the people of their community."

Auditors will complete an on-site verification within 12 months to evaluate internal controls and compliance with audit findings. Auditors already verified a system of checks and balances to ensure future compliance. The new procedures will include opening of a new bank account, conducting regularly scheduled meetings of officers and members, and documenting all minutes.