Painted Cave Fire Department to Sell Equipment
By edhat staff
The volunteer-based Painted Cave Fire Department is selling its trucks and equipment to cover legal fees, reports The Independent.
A lawsuit was filed in March by the Painted Cave Ad Hoc Committee (PCAHC), a group of 16 firefighters and local residents formed last December, claiming the Painted Cave Volunteer Fire Department (PCVFD) and its Chief Kevin Buckley have misused funds, refuse to release their records, and holds secret meetings. It also states Buckley used department funds to buy a flat-screen television, a dining room table worth $1,800, an artificial Christmas tree worth $1,200, and hundreds more on gas for unrelated travel.
Since 2003, the Board of Directors of the Painted Cave Volunteer Fire Department, Inc., a 501(c)(3) non-profit corporation, has managed the department. Kevin Buckley has been the only Fire Chief and President of the Board from 2003 into 2019.
In August, a Santa Barbara Superior Court judge ruled PCVFD Board of Directors referred to themselves as a public entity in 2018 and must release financial records. Lawyers representing PCVFD claim the organization is a private entity and releasing financial documents would be too expensive and time-consuming.
Recently, on October 20, an edhat reader reported seeing Painted Cave fire trucks and heavy equipment traveling down Highway 154 to Mission City Auto Group in Goleta, a local auction broker.
Painted Cave residents have raised questions of legality in selling the fire equipment as some were purchased with grants and with help from Painted Cave residents.
The PCVFD suspended fire operations since March.
- October 21, 2019: Painted Cave Fire Dept in Action?
- August 29, 2019: Painted Cave Fire Department Ordered to Turn Over Financial Records
- March 28, 2019 - Lawsuit Alleges Volunteer Painted Cave Fire Department Misused Funds