(10/16/2014)
The attorney for the former Calhoun Emergency Ambulance Service, Tim LaFon, told the Calhoun Commission Monday that he will be providing paperwork to Prosecutor Shannon Johnson regarding the disposition of the defunct agencies assets, the collection of money owed the agency and the status of creditors.

LaFon appeared with his client, Patty Wilmoth, president of the former EMS board. LaFon said his appearance before the commission was to provide information "because we wanted to, not because we had to."

Commission President Scottie "Chip" Westfall said, "We have been doing everything we can to get an accounting of what became of the EMS assets. I hope that with the cooperation of the former board and their attorney we can avoid an expensive audit."

Calhoun EMS maintained during public meetings that the Calhoun Commission had no oversight over the agency, the commission attempting to obtain financial records since 2010.

March Tucker with the state's EMS Technical Support Network, after an audit report to the commission in 2013, said that the service is "In such disarray, that (he) can't make sense of the records," indicating management problems for several years.

CALHOUN COMMISSION WANTS ACCOUNTABILITY OF CALHOUN EMS ASSETS FOLLOWING DEFAULT

LaFon said the former agency, which is apparently facing lawsuits from creditors, has a lien issued against it by the Internal Revenue Service for unpaid withholding taxes for its employees, reportedly in the amount of $9,000.

He indicated the sale of one of the ambulances would likely retire the IRS lien, but assets from one ambulance has already gone to a hired collection agency. Patty Wilmoth said two of the ambulances are "parked."

LaFon said receivables now likely exceed $100,000, indicating they would be difficult to collect.

He said at the end of EMS 2013 closure, billing revenue was estimated at $440,000, with levy income about $140,000.

Patty Wilmoth, the EMS board president, when asked about the location of agency records, said some are in a storage unit, some at the former EMS station at Minnora and some in her basement.

Questioned regarding asset dispositions and who hired attorney LaFon, Wilmoth responded she and two remaining board members took the action, although those board members, Judy Brannon and Laura Marks, advised the commission they did not take part in the final disposition of the EMS assets, indicating those decisions were apparently made by Wilmoth and former employees.

Wilmoth responded, "They lied."

LaFon said there are no indications of misappropriations, that the agency had audits done.

He said his appearance and information he has provided the prosecutor should but the commission at ease.

In other action:

- The West Virginia Public Service Commission will hold a hearing at the courthouse on Nov. 12 at 10 a.m. regarding the commission's complaint against Frontier regarding intermittent land-line service in the Five Forks-Big Springs area. Those area residents should attended the meeting.

Frontier is reporting that a site location and new equipment to replace the sub-station causing problems are in place.

- The Little Kanawha Development Corporation was renewed as the lead development agency for the county.

- Dianne Ludwig reported on efforts to obtain funding for an aging hot water heating system for the courthouse.

- The commission donated $200 to three Halloween parties to be held at Grantsville, Arnoldsburg and Minnora.

- Minnie Hamilton Health System gave their monthly report on EMS ambulance activity, and EMS Director Brett Wellman reported the service had obtained a 4-wheel drive vehicle which will be placed into service for remote locations.

- The commission is looking at providing wireless Internet service in the courthouse.

- Dianne Ludwig advised the commission of a sludge disposal problem facing the Town of Grantsville.

- Approved the part-time employment of Jessica Pauley in the Sheriffs office.

- Tabled the settlement of the Audra Wade estate for continued remediation of the parties, approved the settlement of the James Hershle Barnes estate.

- The commission approved a grant application for County Clerk Jean Simers for preservation of records.

- The commission reviewed county finances, and approved bonds, bills and wills, paying bills.

The next regular commission meeting is Nov. 10.


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