Barrett Seaman –
A routine internal check of the Irvington Fire Company’s books revealed that during the month of July, nearly $1,000 had been charged to the company’s Wells Fargo credit card. Further investigation revealed that Joe Trama, who had been elected chief of the company only four months earlier, was responsible for the transactions.
“The board of directors took immediate action by removing [Trama’s] access to the card and bank accounts,” according to a statement released by the company’s board. “The chief was disciplined according to company bylaws, resigned from his position, and full restitution of funds was made.”
“The fire company takes its role as a recipient of public funds seriously and conducts regular financial reviews in such capacity,” according to the statement. New elections to replace Trama have not yet been scheduled.
“The police department has not been contacted by the fire department and no complaint has been received,” said Irvington Police Department spokesperson Kevin Johnson. No charges were filed because the money had been repaid, but the incident left its mark. Said one volunteer fireman: “It was like a kick in the gut.”