WORTHINGTON, Mass. (WWLP) – Worthington’s Fire Chief Richard Granger and Emergency Management Director Rick Scott have resigned from their positions amid an attorney general investigation.
The 22News I-Team talked to a Worthington Selectman on Tuesday, who said it might not have come to this had there been better communication in town.
The Hampshire County town of Worthington no longer has a fire chief or emergency management director after both resigned. They stepped down, as Attorney General Maura Healey’s office started an investigation.
Worthington Selectman Chris Powell told the 22News I-Team it all comes after the town questioned Worthington Fire and Rescue Association leaders about their non-profit status and the department’s use of government equipment. “We received a 7 page reply from Rick Scott indicating it wasn’t in our purview to ask these questions and basically he took offense to this,” Powell said.
He said the town also discovered the association hasn’t renewed its non-profit status since 2009 and he wonders how they’ve continued to operate as such all these years. “Then we also did not receive an accurate accounting of the military equipment that had passed through town and it appeared the individuals asked weren’t very forthcoming,” Powell added.
Powell says there may not be any wrongdoing at all but because of the lack of communication, the attorney general is now investigating. The Worthington Fire and Rescue Association is separate from the Worthington Fire Department, which is a volunteer department and controlled by the town. Powell says they have no control over the Association but there’s been concern about all the equipment coming in so they started asking questions. When they couldn’t get answers, they called for an investigation.
Jeffrey Smith, an attorney for the Fire Chief, told the I-Team the chief resigned because of lack of confidence in the leadership of the town and no wrongdoing but they won’t comment further until the AG’s investigation.
As for the safety of the town, surrounding fire departments are aware of the issue and are prepared to offer any assistance needed.