Cashion Meeting Ends With Most Of Former Firefighters Officially Jobless

Tuesday, July 19th 2011, 12:23 am
By: News 9

Michael Konopasek, News 9

CASHION, Okla – In a meeting lasting about three hours the Town of Cashion officially severed all ties with former members of its volunteer fire department, according to those in attendance of the meeting.

Firefighters said they were told the meeting was an opportunity for them to get their jobs back, but that didn't happen. The meeting held at the town hall included questioning of former members and the former fire chief, who was the only paid member of the department. The former chief was on the "hot seat" for most of the meeting.

The town's reasoning for firing the members and chief according to meeting records included:

*Conduct Unbecoming

*Neglect of Duty

*Budget Concerns

The Town of Cashion claims that members of its former department took property from the fire station that did not belong to them. It also alleges that the former fire chief did not come to work when required and did not fill out a required timecard.

However, the former members couldn't disagree more. Former Cashion firefighters tell News 9 the Volunteer Firefighters Association owned the equipment the town accused them of stealing. Also, the former fire chief tells News 9 timecards were not required until October and he was always at work when required, as he was on call 24/7.

Some firefighters were upset over the result of the meeting.

"You can't have a predetermination hearing when we've already been fired," argued Jim Robinson, former fire department member.

The chief shared a similar sentiment, but says he is confident in his role in Monday's meeting.

"If you are just honest and truthful, you let the allegations roll off your back," said the former chief in response to the heated meeting.

No one form the Town of Cashion was available for comment late Monday.

Two men left Monday evening's meeting in rage after board members threatened to have them escorted out of the meeting by Cashion Police.