Town of Berlin Holding Back $600K in Funding from VFC - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Town of Berlin Holding Back $600K in Funding from VFC

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BERLIN, Md.- The Berlin Mayor and Town Council decided to pull funding from the volunteer fire company after town officials said an investigation led to confirmed allegations of discrimination. Town officials said they also made the choice because the company did not abide by other rules as well.

Mayor Gee Williams said the fire company sent a letter to the town stating it was taking complete control of their EMS employees but they still want to keep the employees on the town's payroll.

"Just because they're a volunteer fire company they still have to abide by the same laws and I believe the same moral character as every one else in the community," Williams said. "They are not an exception. They are not apart from the community.  They need to be a part of it and that's what's made this so disappointing."

Williams said an investigation showed that slurs aimed at homosexuals have been used and other issues as well.  Williams said this investigation started in March and may have been going on for years before.

Joseph Moore is the attorney for the fire company and said fire officials have yet to be shown any evidence of an investigation and believe this is all about control. 

"As a result of that letter the town has stated to the fire company that they are withdrawing all funding to the fire company," Moore said.

Moore said it will have a huge effect but the fire department will continue to serve the public the way that it always has. "It is a substantial situation that we have to deal with in funding those public safety services."

Williams said this event will more than likely ultimately end up being settled in the courts.

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