GARRETT — With huge financial losses discovered in a recent state auditor’s report, the chief of Garrett Volunteer Fire Department isn’t sure how long it will take to recover. But he said the department will.
In a report that was issued this week, the Kentucky State Auditor’s office found over $123,000 is misused funds from the Garrett Volunteer Fire Department, much of which has been laid at the feet of former assistant chief/treasurer Terry Triplett.
“Shocked,” was the word Bruce Scott, Chief of GVFD, used to describe his reaction to the audit’s findings. “We’d only had two or three meetings before Terry joined up,” said Scott. “He’d been here a little over 32 years.”
According to Scott, over the years Triplett had really helped the department. “I’ll be the first in line to say that,” said Scott.
Scott says there was nothing that he saw personally that would have tipped him off to Triplett’s alleged actions. “It’s really something. The shame that he’s brought on his family and on this department,” said Scott.
Scott says that when he talks to people in the community about the audit, most of them express the most disillusion about the amount of pornography that was found on Triplett’s department issued computer.
State auditors found 890 pornographic videos and 125 graphic images on both his computer and external hard-drives.
“The pornography has really blown their minds,” says Scott. “You know someone this long, and then see something of that magnitude, and you just say, ‘Oh my God, I can’t believe it.’”
Despite the black eye and the financial setback, Scott says his department is already moving on.
“We’ll recover. We’ll get through it. It’s going to be a long slow process, but we’re not going to let one person destroy what we’ve worked for 32 years.”
The GVFD has served the southern portion of the Floyd County well over 32 years, and features the counties only High Angle Response Team. Scott says being a volunteer firefighter isn’t always easy, but he says the rewards are worth it.
“Our payday is a ‘thank you.’”