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Dispute between firefighter, fire company is resolved

Published December 27. 2012 05:01PM

A dispute between the American Hose Company Number One, of Tamaqua, and one of its fire,fighters which escalated into the fireman having a criminal charge filed against him was finally settled with no further prosecution.

District Attorney Karen Byrnes Noon appeared before President Judge William E. Baldwin in the Schuylkill County Court before Christmas and filed a motion to have a charge of theft dismissed against John Jones, 31, of 101 Pine Street, Tamaqua, against whom the charge was filed by his fire company. Byrnes told the court that full restitution was paid by Jones of $250 to the fire company and that she was notified by Edward Bruce Keater, of the fire company that they did not wish to further prosecute. Judge Baldwin entered an order of nolle prosequi which dismissed the theft charge against Jones but the court ordered Jones pay the costs of prosecution.

According to the police report the issue was over a numerical pager which was given to Jones by the fire company back in 2006. The pager was provided to Jones on August 15, 2006. On July 10, 2009, Jay Hollenbach, Jr., a captain in the hose company, advised the membership that Jones had failed to meet the obligation he agreed on August 15, 2006 for the use of the pager. The hose company notified Jones by several letters concerning his failure to meet his obligation in the agreement and three different engine room officers approached Jones in regard to the matter but received no response. When he failed to return the pager the Tamaqua Police were notified and Corporal Henry Woods on August 19,. 2009 filed a charge of theft.

The problem escalated when Jones failed to appear before Magisterial District Justice Stephen Bayer's office on January 4, 2012 for a preliminary hearing and on January 23, 2012 Jones was taken into custody by a county sheriff deputy and Tamaqua police from his residence at 104 Schuylkill Avenue, Apartment 9, Tamaqua. The court order brought an end to the problem.

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