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.