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Possible Plea Deal for Former Fire Company President

WAYNE COUNTY — The former president of a fire department in Wayne County was in court Tuesday to face charges he stole from his department.

Now, prosecutors indicate a plea deal is in the works that could result in a lesser charge for the alleged thief.

We first told you about the case against Aaron Rossignol back in March.

Rossignol’s the former president of the Lake Ariel Fire Company and is accused of using the company’s fuel card to rack of thousands of dollars for his own use.

Rossignol could be closer to admitting his role in exchange for what could end up being a lighter punishment.

Rossignol left district court in Hawley without saying a word. He gave up his right to a hearing on theft charges and those charges now go onto court.

Members of that fire company were there, ready to testify and hoping to hold Rossignol accountable for the more than $8,000 he allegedly charged to a fire company fuel card for his own use.

“It was at a point where we had to have a fundraiser once a month to pay our bills off, took a lot of toll on manpower,” said Lake Ariel Fire Chief Michael DiPierro.

Volunteers headed out on a fire call from the Lake Ariel Fire Company along Route 191.

For the most part, members said they want to put the alleged thefts behind them.

Prosecutors said they are discussing a plea agreement with Rossignol for a misdemeanor and restitution, not for the felony counts he’s facing now.

“The matter has been resolved and that’s all I want to say right now,” said Rossignol’s attorney Paul Batyko.

“It’s not fair, if you steal from the community, he should have to go to jail and still pay restitution,” said Patricia McGrantham of Lake Ariel.

It’s not a done deal yet. Rossignol could still fight the charges at trial. But if a plea deal is the outcome, folks in the Lake Ariel area believe the once-trusted fire company president shouldn’t get just a slap on the wrist.

“He should be punished, I don’t think he should be left off for that one reason. It’s an organization that relies on fundraisers,” said Anthony Sabia of The Hideout.

The Lake Ariel Fire Company has been holding fundraisers once a month for years now. The chief said the events like this month’s pasta dinner help pay the bills.

During that time, state police claim Rossignol stole more than $8,000 from the fire company.

6 comments

  • Ang

    The fire company has been struggling financially for years. They were struggling for years before Aaron became president. If you jerks knew Aaron you would know that he is a good guy and you would know in your heart that he isn’t capable of doing this. The company is only out for money and they have nothing else to do than to blame people for funds they never had in the first place. That Lake Ariel Fire Company and everyone in it is a joke.

  • Mel

    ZL-Maplewood is a terrific Company, but consider they only cover a small corner of Lake Twp. Lake Ariel has 3 stations. One in South Canaan, one in Lake Ariel and one in the Hideout. In the interet of location, this would also require the assistance of Hamlin and Waymart. Not to mention the manpower of Maplewood does not match that of he other companies.

    As for Lake Twp giving LAFC 8K. Why should they have had to? If Mr. Rossignol could work for his money like most Americans that 8K from the Township could have gone to much better use.

  • ZL

    I don’t understand the comment the women said about if the fire station closed they would have to wait for Hamlin — -Why does NO ONE in the community ever remember that Lake Township has TWO fire companies — The Lake Ariel station and the Maplewood Station – They are both Township fire departments. If something every happened to either one, the other one would fill in.
    And they said they have to do all of these fundraisers, but Lake Township just gave them $8000 in April. I am not saying it replaces the money lost, but it when you add it into the books, it does help.

  • jellystoneranger

    Do you understand what a crime is ? Don’t give me the good man garbage ! Plea deal? He did it! Double what he stole and it has to be paid back in a year and no more rides on the fire engine or volunteer firefighter anywhere forever! People like this have an overblown ego about themselves. He can live in his shame. Make him sell anything of value that he has to payback the fire company.

  • Randy

    Look it is about money, maybe a good man, mislead to easy crime, make him secure a loan for 4 times the amount missing as his punishment, An pay for his shame. If he owns a home, let it be used as collateral.

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