(11/14/2013)
The Calhoun Commission has requested federal and state agencies to investigate the records of the former Calhoun Emergency Ambulance Service, which ceased operations earlier this year.

Calhoun commissioner Chip Westfall said the commission, after eight months, has not been able to obtain any accountability of the distribution or sale of EMS's assets or disclosure of funds they are collecting for previous services.

Those collections were once estimated at about $200,000, due from Medicare, Medicaid and insurance companies for services rendered.

Calhoun EMS was supported by county taxpayer, state and federal funds.

A number of creditors are reportedly lined up wanting to be paid.

Commission president Kevin Helmick said that while the county is not responsible for Calhoun EMS's debts, they want to see that creditors are paid.

The commission, prior to the closure of Calhoun EMS in March, made numerous efforts to obtain financials.

"EMS officials essentially told the commission it was none of their business, sadly accusing the commission of playing politics," said commissioner Bob Weaver.

"The commission is requesting the US Attorney's Office in Clarksburg to investigate the matter, particularly since federal funds are involved," said commissioner Chip Westfall.

Also an issue is that USDA funding was reportedly used for the purchase of an ambulance, and there are issues regarding radio equipment provided by Calhoun 911.

The commission is also asking the West Virginia Attorney General's office and the West Virginia State Police to investigate the matter.

Westfall said certified letters regarding accountability have been sent to Patty Wilmoth, EMS board president, and Charleston law firm Ciccarello, Del Giudice and LaFon, with no response regarding the issues at hand.

Commissioners said they are not clear about the scope of the law firms oversight, a firm reportedly hired by Wilmoth.

The request for the investigation says, "Several community members and former employees have voiced concerns about the improper use, disposal, transfer of equipment, funds, and drugs."

"This about accountability," concluded commission president Kevin Helmick.

See related story CALHOUN COMMISSION WANTS ACCOUNTABILITY OF CALHOUN EMS ASSETS FOLLOWING DEFAULT


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