Dewey Beach Commissioner Looking to Further Investigate the Town's Involvement in the Military Surplus Program
Posted: Jan 12, 2019 11:49 PM
By Mallory Metzner
(DEWEY BEACH, Del.) - The investigation into the Military Surplus Program continues in Dewey Beach. Initial reports pointed at Dewey Beach Police for controlling an account with an unreported $3 million of military equipment, but the final audit report allowed the town to account for it all. Now it's time to find out if past town officials knew about this all along.
"The funny thing is that it was alleged that the money was missing when the reality was the money was in the town's bank accounts," says Commissioner Paul Bauer.
The investigation proved back in March that the police were not trading a secret stash of equipment for their own benefit. It was determined that it was the town who had not put in enough oversight to account for $210,000 in equipment.
"The town participated and had some gain through this program as well. We had a building, Season's Pizza down on Route 1 that was demolished, but there was no money that was exchanged. A piece of equipment that's here on this inventory list we believe was traded on a price to demolish the building," Bauer explains.
This missing military equipment was one of the first issues Commissioner Bauer and Mayor TJ Redefer faced when they were elected about a year and a half ago. They believe it is time to hold anyone who was negligent with the equipment accountable.
Bauer is calling on his fellow commissioners to investigate the town. "Somebody needs to investigate internally what the process was the town used to get rid of some of this equipment and knock down buildings," he says.
Another goal is to be more transparent to the public moving forward. Bauer says, "We're cleaning up the mess, that's what we want the public to know."
In the meantime, the town is working to sell and/or auction any military surplus equipment they don't need by April 11th. "That's the stuff we'll use for future police purchases," says Bauer.
Commissioner Bauer believes that Human Resources is the best to conduct this investigation to see if the town really did have any involvement with the Military Surplus Program, but the plan is for commissioners to vote on exactly who will investigate at their next meeting later this month.