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Oakfield Fire Department Honor Guard to train with Marine Corps at Arlington National Cemetery next week

By Billie Owens

Submitted photos of the Oakfield Fire Department Honor Guard and press release:

The Oakfield Fire Department Honor Guard is pleased to announce that it has received a very rare invitation to participate in honors training with the Marine Corps Honor Guard detail at Arlington National Cemetery on Wednesday, Aug. 17, through Saturday, Aug. 20.

The OFD Honor Guard was formed and has been training since the fall of 2015, with the purpose of providing funeral honors to local firefighters, who may in the future, die in the line of duty. 

“A locally based fire department honor guard has been a passion of mine for many years,” said 2nd Assistant and Past Chief Randy McIntire.

Chief McIntire is a local funeral director and partner in H.E. Turner & Co. Funeral Home, Bohm-Calarco-Smith Funeral Home and Burdett & Sanford Funeral Home and brings knowledge of the funeral process to the team.

“My son, Lt. Jeffery McIntire and Chief Sean Downing, share my passion, and we have worked to bring the concept of the Honor Guard to a reality,” McIntire said.

The Oakfield Fire Department sponsored Honor Guard consists of both of the McIntires, 3rd Assistant and Past Chief Sean Downing, firefighters, Casey Arnold, Tyler Hamm and Nate Klos. These men are all members of the Oakfield Fire Department.

“As a 12-year Marine Corps veteran, I was able to make some inquiries to the Marine Corps Headquarters in Washington. D.C. Those contacts moved along the chain of command and the result was an invitation to train with the Marine Honors Detail,” Lt. McIntire said. 

The OFD Honor Guard will receive specialized training in precision maneuvering, military bearing and burial traditions as well as Color Guard procedures and practices. 

Our invitation was offered by General Robert B. Neller, Commandant of the Marine Corps and his staff. He has provided us with unprecedented access to those Marines who have dedicated themselves to providing honor and dignity to their fallen comrades.

The Honor Guard will return from Arlington National Cemetery with very unique training that will assist them in honoring our local firefighters should the need arise.

Former Oakfield FD treasurer ordered to pay $16K in restitution

By Howard B. Owens

Press release from State Comptroller's Office:

Former Oakfield Fire Department treasurer Samantha Hilchey was ordered to pay $16,281 in restitution at her sentencing Monday in Oakfield Town Court. Hilchey created direct withdrawals from the department's account to pay her National Grid, Verizon Wireless and other personal bills before her thefts were revealed by an audit and investigation by the office of New York State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli.

"Ms. Hilchey decided the public should subsidize not only her utility bills but also her K-Mart shopping," DiNapoli said. "Also disturbing is the unknown whereabouts of $4,340 in cash from a Mother's Day raffle. I thank Genesee County District Attorney Lawrence Friedman and the New York State Police for partnering with us to hold this individual accountable. I urge other fire departments to double check their books and increase their oversight to prevent similar abuses."

Hilchey, 31, of Batavia, was also sentenced to three years probation pursuant to her larceny conviction.

"The Genesee County District Attorney's Office thanks the Office of the Comptroller for its assistance and accounting expertise in the investigation and prosecution of this matter," Asst. District Attorney William Zickl said. "Investigations Director Stephanie Kelly and State Police Investigator Ron Wilson were instrumental in uncovering Ms. Hilchey's crime and making her accountable to the Oakfield Fire Department and the community."

The Comptroller's audit and investigation found that Hilchey stole $16,281 for personal use through a variety of bank or cash transactions in 2012 and 2013. The probe also found that $4,340 in cash from a Mother's Day raffle was unaccounted for.

The audit concluded that Hilchey was able to carry out the scheme because the Fire Department Board failed to establish proper internal controls such as requiring that transactions be properly recorded and that an annual audit of the treasurer's books be completed.

The Comptroller recommended that the Oakfield Fire Department:

* Audit and approve claims prior to payment and ensure that all disbursements are supported by vouchers;

* Review bank statements and cancelled checks monthly;

* Ensure that officials keep records of ticket sales and use of raffle funds; and

* Have the treasurer maintain accurate, complete and up-to-date accounting records that document all cash receipt and disbursement transactions.

In response to the audit, the Oakfield Fire Department Board of Directors thanked the Comptroller's Office, agreed with the findings, and promised to take corrective action along with additional safeguards. The Fire Department's response is included in the audit.

To read the audit, visit:

DiNapoli encourages the public to help fight fraud and abuse. New Yorkers can report allegations of fraud involving taxpayer money by calling the toll-free Fraud Hotline at 1-888-672-4555, by filing a complaint online at, or by mailing a complaint to: Office of the State Comptroller, Division of Investigations, 14th floor, 110 State St., Albany, NY 12236.

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