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Taking Action for the Goodman Area Fire Protection

Goodman residents are asking questions about how money is being spent by their fire department board members.
GOODMAN, MO.--- Goodman residents are asking questions about how money is being spent by their fire department board members. Residents say some transactions the board members have made don't have receipts to show them what it was that was bought. In the budget records, it's called a "miscellaneous" transaction. Goodman residents called us to investigate and ask the board members what "miscellaneous" really means.

Jerry Richmond has been fire chief for the Goodman Area Fire Protection for the last 35 years. On March 11th, he was asked to step down.    
    
"They told me when they asked me to step down, people will just stop asking questions and just go away," said Jerry Richmond, Goodman Resident. 

Richmond questioned the handling of the volunteer department's financial budget by the department board members.    
    
"How money is being spent, where it is going, and who is spending and how it's allowed," said Jerry.

Richmond thinks that's why he's being asked to step down, and he's not the only one asking questions.

"I realized there were discrepancies and things that weren't being calculated or logged right," said Deaun Richmond, Goodman Resident. 

Deaun Richmond was asked by a board member to make a copy of their budget. After seeing the discrepancies, she started looking into the records a little more. 

"There's thousands of dollars on Paypal accounts, all of them are listed as miscellaneous. There is no original receipts to show where they are, what they were used for," said Deaun. 

On the 2012 and 2013 budget report, there are 167 combined Paypal transactions labeled as miscellaneous. Deaun asked the board members about the transactions.

"One of the board members got very irate and told me to keep my nose where it belonged," said Deaun. 

We were contacted by Goodman residents to investigate the spending. The Goodman Area Fire Protection had a board meeting last night, where we asked Board President Jimmy Morgan about the miscellaneous transactions.   

"I mean it's just, we don't list, I mean I'm not, I don't know about this," said Jimmy Morgan, Board President. "The best thing to do is just table this for now until we talk to our lawyer,"  

The meeting lasted for more than an hour, but we never got a definite answer as to what all those transactions were. Deaun Richmond did file a FOIA request, giving the board members three days to make their financial records public or ask for an extension. We will continue to follow the story as new information is presented. 

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