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Howard County EMA Employees Fired Over 'Dumb Mistake'

January 18, 2009

KOKOMO, IN - Two Howard County Emergency Management Agency (EMA) officers were caught with a county vehicle in a place the EMA director says they shouldn't have been, according to

"Everybody makes mistakes, but this was a dumb mistake," said Larry Smith, director, Howard County Emergency Management Agency.

Smith says he received pictures of one of the county's EMA vehicles parked outside an adult novelty store in Muncie, Delaware County.

"I wasn't real happy when I saw 'em," said Smith.

"Our rules state that you don't leave Howard County in an emergency vehicle or in a squad car unless I know about it, I've advised that they can or one of my staff officers advised that they can," added Smith.

Smith says the pictures were taken recently and ended up in his hands. He then tracked down the person who had permission to use the county car for the weekend and asked him to sign a written statement saying he had the car the entire time.

"When he got all done, I showed him the pictures," said Smith.

Another clue was a discrepancy between the mileage that the employee wrote down and the actual mileage that had been put on the vehicle over the weekend, reported in

According to Smith, that employee wasn't alone. Another EMA employee went with him. Smith says he hopes this incident doesn't reflect poorly on the department. Both of the men have been let go. Smith says they won't be back.









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