Years after it stopped operating, a judge has ordered the Champion fire department to officially go out of business.
The order from State Supreme Court Judge James McClusky also requires a five year accounting of how the department has spent its money, and what assets it has.
Judge McClusky acted on a lawsuit brought by New York State Attorney General Letitia James, who earlier this year sued to dissolve the fire department. James argued the fire department “has been defunct for several years” but continued to represent itself as a functioning fire department.
Louis Waite, a Champion town council member and former chief of the fire department told 7 News Monday that the fire department will not appeal the decision.
“We’re all done. We just said to heck with it,” Waite said,. “We’re sick of fighting for it.”
The Town of Champion ended its contract with the fire department five years ago, and turned over fire-fighting duties to neighboring fire departments.
“It’s a loss for the community as far as I’m concerned,” Waite said.
In his order, McClusky directs three things – that everything the fire department owns be turned over to the Town of Champion and then redistributed for use in fire fighting; that the Champion fire department provide a “a five year accounting of all assets, liabilities, income and expenses”; that the town and the Attorney General make a plan for how the fire department’s assets get transferred.
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