While its chief and deputy chief await a formal Allegheny County arraignment for embezzlement charges, the Becks Run Volunteer Fire Department was officially decertified by the Baldwin Borough Council on Tuesday night.
The council voted, 6-0, to approve the decertification, which terminates all authority previously granted to the department to perform duties associated with a volunteer fire department and revokes its official status as a volunteer fire department serving the borough. (Councilman Ed Moeller was absent for the vote but arrived later at Tuesday's meeting.)
In light of the embezzlement charges, brought because Chief Leonard "Len" Novak and Deputy Chief Stephen Bonetti allegedly misused approximately $25,000 in public funds, Becks Run Fire had been inactive for some time, but Tuesday's action may permanently end its existence.
Due to that inactivity, Becks Run's fire calls have been answered for several months by its neighbor in north Baldwin—Baldwin Independent Fire Company No. 1—and that practice will continue for the foreseeable future.
Becks Run Fire will now face court action to determine the disposition of its assets and debts, Baldwin Borough solicitor Stanley B. Lederman said on Tuesday.
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And check back with the Baldwin-Whitehall Patch on Wednesday for more odds and ends from Tuesday night's council meeting.
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