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Volunteer Firefighters Resign in Protest

By Associated Press

Fort Payne, AL – Several Sylvania volunteer firefighters have resigned in protest over the volunteer chief's suspension for allegedly diverting city funds into a private account.

Sylvania Mayor Benny West said he suspended Bobby Abbott Friday morning for putting funds in an account that's outside the city's control.

But the chief's son, David Abbott, says the account is legitimate and is used by the fire department.

David Abbott resigned his position as assistant chief Friday and said the mayor and city council have known about the firefighter's auxiliary account since they were elected in 2004.

David Abbott said he thinks they have a hidden agenda against his father.

West said the fire chief has been suspended for 30 days.

He said Bobby Abbott has the right to request a hearing, which must be made in writing within 10 days.

David Abbott said about four of the 18 firefighters on the force have resigned in protest.

(Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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