Fire administrator resigns after council questions possible malfeasance

Published: Oct. 8, 2015 at 1:55 AM CDT|Updated: Oct. 8, 2015 at 2:22 AM CDT
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COVINGTON, LA (WVUE) - A St. Tammany Fire District administrator quit his job after council members asked the District Attorney and Legislative Auditor to look into the department.

"Right now, they are imploding a little bit. They are finding out they had a few more problems than they thought," VP of the Professional Firefighters Association of Louisiana Doug Dawson said.

Dawson said District 12 Fire Administrator Ray Newton turned in his resignation this week after being scrutinized by St. Tammany council members.

The district is more than $130,000 in the red and cutting their ambulance services to make ends meet, according to Chief Darrell Guilott.

Acadian Ambulance will take over services Nov. 1st.
"Absolutely it's mismanagement. How bad is yet to be determined," Dawson said. "I'm hoping we'll have some answers soon."
Guilott blamed the deficit on slow pay for insurance and the national health car law saying it gives his station less money per call than expected.

Newton declined an interview.

The attention now turns to the fire department for a possible hike on insurance premiums while the debt looms.

"I don't think people have to be concerned about the everyday response," Dawson said. "What they have to worry about is if this affects the rating. If it affects the rating, you could have insurance premiums go up then people are going to pay more. If people are laid off, you're going to have more firefighters who are not there on the scenes."

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