Jones Co. Board of Supervisors, Fire Council reach agreement in new contract

A solution has finally arrived for a lengthy problem in Jones County.
Published: Nov. 2, 2021 at 9:20 PM CDT
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JONES COUNTY, Miss. (WDAM) - A solution has finally arrived for a lengthy problem in Jones County.

The Jones County Board of Supervisors and the Jones County Fire Council reached an agreement for a new contract Monday.

“It essentially means that we have fire protection for the citizens of the county at this point,” said Danielle Ashley, CAO & Board Attorney for the Jones Co. Board of Supervisors.

It marks the end of an embezzlement case in which fire council funds were allegedly stolen by former council president and Calhoun Volunteer Fire Department Chief Lee Garick.

“We just reworked a lot of the terms... in the contract and especially the financial aspect of it,” Ashley said. “We really worked out a lot, went back and forth with fire council about the terms of that.”

According to Ashley, the board now controls the fire council’s insurance rebate funds. It will send $3,000 a month to the council, which we’re told will not accumulate to more than $30,000.

“So, there’s not going to be a large amount of money that’s available for someone to potentially you know steal or embezzle from,” Ashley said.

Additionally, Ashley says the fire council will now have a bonded executive committee that will approve all purchases before they’re made. We’re told the committee will also require two signatures on checks and has to provide an accounting of how much money was spent to the Board of Supervisors.

“This system we feel like will ensure that the money is used for what it’s supposed to be used for,” Ashley said.

Fire council representatives released a statement to WDAM:

The Jones County Fire Council is pleased to announce that it has reached an agreement with the Jones County Board of Supervisors to continue providing uninterrupted fire protection and other emergency services for Jones County. Our firefighters and departments look forward to continuing to serve Jones County.

The investigation into the alleged embezzlement case began in August, according to Ashley.

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