Dispute over Connecticut EMS Chief's Vehicle


Kate Ramunni | | Wednesday, July 22, 2009

OXFORD -- One town official is demanding action be taken to limit the head of the Oxford Ambulance Service's use of his town vehicle in the wake his arrest on charges of drunken driving.

Selectman August Palmer said he tried as first selectman to sit down with ambulance chief Jerry Schwab and his attorneys to discuss the town's contract with the service, which provides Schwab with the sport-utility vehicle he was driving the night of July 3, when he was charged by Ansonia police with drunken driving.

"We have a contract with the ambulance corps that is just horrible and it goes on forever with no ending date," said Palmer, who was first selectman until November 2007. He is now a selectman. "He gets to use [the vehicle] however he wants, whenever he wants. If he wants to pull his boat or take a vacation, he can take our car," Palmer said. "It's a terrible, terrible contract."

Palmer said he became aware of the terms of the contract near the end of his second term and tried to get ambulance officials to sit down to renegotiate it. "It was hard to get them to the table," he said, and then after his loss to First Selectman Mary Ann Drayton-Rogers in November 2007, it was out of his hands.

"We need a contract the town can work with and not one that favors one person -- not even the whole ambulance corps," he said. "We pay the gas, insurance and maintenance."

Read More Selectman outraged over ambulance chief's arrest

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Related Topics: Leadership and Professionalism, Legal and Ethical, Operations and Protcols

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