The fire chief in Dighton, Massachusetts, is under fire and off the job after being accused of using his uniform allowance improperly.
According to the Taunton Gazette, Fire Chief Antone Roderick was arraigned Tuesday in Taunton District Court on two counts of presenting a fraudulent claim to an employer, one count of larceny and one count of making false statements to police.
Roderick was released on his own recognizance.
According to a report by a state police detective unit assigned to the Bristol County District Attorney’s Office, Roderick submitted three invoices to the town of Dighton between Sept. 15 - Sept. 21, which totaled nearly $240. The items were for four items of women's clothing including a rain jacket, Capris, a camisole and a tube top.
Dighton Selectman, Brett Zogart, said the town feels betrayed that Roderick would use his clothing allowance for those items, allegedly for his girlfriend.
"Apparently the girlfriend did admit that the pair of Capris was purchased for her," Zogart said.
Investigators also said the items were all bought off a website for public safety professionals.
"Its unacceptable behavior. It's unacceptable conduct," said Dighton Selectwoman, Nancy Goulart.
According to court paperwork, Roderick told police the clothes were for him because he’d lost weight and they fit him better. Paperwork also demanded he try the clothing on to prove it.
"Whether it be $235 dollars or $235,000, his trust now has been discredited," said Dighton Selectboard Chair, Dean Cronin
On the invoice for the Capris, Roderick was accused of whiting out the letters "wo," something he denies.
The allegations are why select board voted unanimously to suspend him without pay.
Roderick was not available for comment buy his lawyer told necn he is saddened by the unfounded allegations. His friends are also having a hard time understanding.
"The guy I know is a hardworking man. He's one of the best workers the town has," said friend Robert Woods.
Another meeting will be held at town hall on Wednesday night where public comment on Roderick's suspension will be welcome.