A bizarre case involving a West Virginia volunteer fire company has gotten a bit closer to closure. Michael Kevin Brammer, the former president of the Ronceverte Volunteer Fire Department, was convicted this week of one count of conspiracy to commit embezzlement.
Two other officials, former fire chief Jody Campbell and former treasurer William Miller, were also indicted in this case. Miller pled guilty and is on probation while Campbell awaits trial. The cases stem from the use of fire department funds to “assist” members having financial difficulties.
The financial irregularities prompted the City of Ronceverte to move to consolidate control over the RVFD in 2009, which in turn prompted a civil suit by the department claiming the city’s efforts were illegal. Earlier this year, West Virginia State Fire Marshal Sterling Lewis exercised his authority to issue a cease and desist order to the Ronceverte VFD to stop their operations.
SFM Lewis based his order on regulations that prohibit emergency service organizations from employing convicted felons. He alleged that Ronceverte firefighters elected Casey Morgan to be the department’s chief, and Morgan had been convicted of grand larceny.