Former board members suing town

Saturday, September 6, 2008

CLOVERDALE -- The Cloverdale Town Council and Cloverdale Township Volunteer Fire Department -- joined by a contract to ensure fire protection for the town -- are once again drawing criticism as two former members of the town council have filed suit.

John Davis and Judy Whitaker filed papers in Putnam Superior Court on Sept. 2, alleging among other things, a violation of state law regarding the lease of the town's fire station to the township fire department.

A bit of history: On April 9, 2007, the town and the township fire department were reunited in a contract for fire protection after attempts to launch a town fire department that was independent of the township fire department failed.

Davis and Whitaker, both former members of the council, pushed to have a town fire department created and the contract with the township fire department terminated. But after operating for a brief time, the town fire department was disbanded and fire protection duties handed back over to the township.

As part of the contract approved on April 9, 2007, the township fire department was allowed to once again lease the fire station which the town owns, at a cost of one dollar per year.

But this week, Davis and Whitaker filed a lawsuit against the town, saying it violated Indiana law when it leased the fire station to the township fire department last year.

According to court documents, "Cloverdale did not follow either of the statutory procedures for leasing the fire station to the Volunteer Fire Department and Cloverdale Township in the contract."

They are asking the court to declare the contract null and void and prohibit the town from leasing the fire station to the township for the time being.

Also, Davis and Whitaker are alleging that the town gave (at no cost) fire equipment owned by the now defunct town fire department to the township fire department for its use. According to court documents, the equipment included "fire trucks, fire hoses, thermo-imaging equipment, turn-out gear and electronic equipment, which had been used up to the date of the contract by the town fire department."

The pair are asking the court "to find that the town violated Indiana statute by giving away the town fire equipment."

View 24 comments
Note: The nature of the Internet makes it impractical for our staff to review every comment. Please note that those who post comments on this website may do so using a screen name, which may or may not reflect a website user's actual name. Readers should be careful not to assign comments to real people who may have names similar to screen names. Refrain from obscenity in your comments, and to keep discussions civil, don't say anything in a way your grandmother would be ashamed to read.
  • Okay, so if the court finds that the town violated some ridiculus statute then lets take away the fire trucks, and fire equipment. See how long it takes the fire dept to respond when they have to carry a bucket of water to put out the fires. Common sense says "you are no longer on the board, your vote does not count!"

    -- Posted by WTFRUthinkin on Sat, Sep 6, 2008, at 5:27 AM
  • I agree with "graydog". Whitaker and Davis need to move on. Why file a lawsuit over a year later? Better yet, why file one at all? Whitaker and Davis would be the first to complain about the fire depts response, if they needed their assistance.

    -- Posted by golfpro on Sat, Sep 6, 2008, at 7:07 AM
  • I don't care that they waste their own money on lawyers but now they are wasting the Town's, the Township Fire Department, and the Cloverdale Trustee's tax monies to fight their lawsuit. That is money that goes to a lot of things like fire protection, poor relief, streets, cemetary upkeep, etc. That's our tax money that is being wasted by these two individuals. That's wrong and so are these two. The courts keep proving that.

    notagain, they aren't on the board. Judy did not run for re-election and John lost by around a 3:1 margin. They people of Cloverdale have spoken and these two just aren't listening.

    -- Posted by CdaleResident on Sat, Sep 6, 2008, at 7:12 AM
  • some people will go to great extremes to keep their name in the gossip circles, get a clue try something positive, it really works!

    -- Posted by gottokno on Sat, Sep 6, 2008, at 8:02 AM
  • I think A & E or Bravo or even MTV should do a reality show about Cloverdale and its politics. They fire a winning basketball coach, have a gambling ring, and the town administators don't even like each other. Sounds like a hit show to me. AND REMEMBER< THAT WOULD JUST BE SEASON #1.

    -- Posted by idiot on Sat, Sep 6, 2008, at 8:18 AM
  • Ahhhh the Cloverdale drama.

    -- Posted by Life Is Good on Sat, Sep 6, 2008, at 9:25 AM
  • I think the TOWN 0F Cloverdale really needs to start attending the meetings. The town had a very good Fire departement, in the new departement, that was formed, after the Township department needed $70,000 dollars to run what is a Volunteer Department. What happened to all the money that the CTVFD had in CD's? Why wont't the CTVFD let anybody see there books. Are they afraid that someone on the department had sticky fingers? And why is it taking so long for the CTVFD to response to runs? The other day they it took dispatch over 15 minutes before the CTVFD even answered the call. Why did it take so long? Could this be because the Chief works in Greencastle and no one is around town during the day!!!

    The town of Cloverdale better look out, the town council is trying to give away the building inspectors job to the county. Next they wiil do away the clerks job.

    I think the town of Cloverdale citizens really need to stand back and look at what the the council members are doing.

    -- Posted by moo on Sat, Sep 6, 2008, at 9:28 AM
  • What day and time was this run that took the fire department 15 minutes to show up on? I'd like to go ask them and the 911 folks about this. Also you make reference to money in CDs. How would you have banking information about the fire department when you say they won't show you their records? I always thought banking information was kept confidential. You also make reference to "someone on the department had sticky fingers?" Do you have any proof of this accusation? If you do please share the information because I'd like to ask them and the state board of accounts about it.

    -- Posted by CdaleResident on Sat, Sep 6, 2008, at 10:34 AM
  • they lose a case and file a new one

    -- Posted by baffledbeyondbelief on Sat, Sep 6, 2008, at 2:57 PM
  • Just where is davis and whitaker getting the money to waste on frivolous lawsuits? Maybe they have been visiting the illeagal gambling spot in Cloverdale.

    -- Posted by captain crunch on Sat, Sep 6, 2008, at 9:32 PM
  • Mr Moo, the clerk is elected, the town council cannot do away with her position.

    -- Posted by captain crunch on Sat, Sep 6, 2008, at 9:42 PM
  • JDavis has commented here before, maybe he'll post again with some INsite on the latest situation. I know I'll be waiting.

    What about gingb? Any word at T's?

    WTFR, No one is going to take away any firetrucks from us.

    The story in AC's article suggests that the law suit is saying, " If you are going to do this with this Department, do it right."

    The big networks got a TV story before the cable channels did. DateLime MD20/20 did an exclusive interview with a certain ex-politician on Laffeyette Street about his diabolical pursuit of world domination, one local government at a time. One quote already heard in a preview, stated "I almost got away with it once, if it hadn't been for those darn kids and their pesky dog!"

    -- Posted by Xgamer on Sat, Sep 6, 2008, at 9:44 PM
  • Davis and Whitaker need to take up some sort of a hobby other than lawsuits. Perhaps, basket weaving would fulfill their needs.

    -- Posted by QueenBee on Sun, Sep 7, 2008, at 2:38 AM
  • Volunteer is the key word. Which means the chief can work any where he wants to. I cant think of a time it took 15 min for a Fire Dept to respond. Look up facts before your fingers start typing. By the way when Cloverdale City fire was there why did Cloverdale Township have to respond on half the calls?

    -- Posted by WTFRUthinkin on Sun, Sep 7, 2008, at 6:40 AM
  • After November, when I am elected Mayor, I'll have all these matters solved. I turned down the Sheriff's position on Saturday so I can focus on straightening out things here in Cloverdale.

    -- Posted by Xgamer on Sun, Sep 7, 2008, at 8:31 AM
  • WTFRU...u even know what your talkin about? they cant take the fire trucks away, twp. owns those. The town already sold off the town owned trucks. As far as equipment, twp will still have theirs, but should give up the stuff owned by the town, then the town could sell off the stuff and pay off the loans that bought it instead of paying for something that the twp "got for free". Would be scarry to know how much town money is being milked to the fire dept. You are right on one thing tho, volunteer is the key word...and lately they've volunteered not to show up or drag their feet on a few runs lately. Just listen to the scanner now an then an find out just how many do show up....its not many.

    -- Posted by justmoveonwillya on Sun, Sep 7, 2008, at 11:43 AM
  • I hope the fire department stays. Plus the trucks are a lot faster than the red trucks were. Honesty I am glad the yellow trucks came back. I live in town with my parents and my dad has heart problems. The fire department and police are there usually first. They help him get ready for the ambulance and makes sure he is stable too. If you do away with the fire department and there is nobody to get to my house fast enough for my dad. Then there will be a lawsuit for sure, form me and my family. We will also sue the people that made the fire department go away too.

    -- Posted by Christine on Sun, Sep 7, 2008, at 3:42 PM
  • Can't you 2 people be happy? Are your lives so miserable that you have to sue? The fire department is doing a great job........Why not praise them instead? I am!!!

    -- Posted by sad_but_true on Sun, Sep 7, 2008, at 4:58 PM
  • okay I'm not from Cloverdale, but I have one thing to say. They are Volunteer fire men. doesnt matter where they work . Sometimes they may all be gone at once, sorry but it really happens. They are putting there lives at risk to help you with out recieving a paycheck. My father was a vol. fireman for 35 years. Want to know how many dinners, birthdays, christmas, etc. that he had to leave in the middle of.Well there was a lot to go help ungratful people that want to complain about where a vol fire works or is when there is a call come in. get over it or go vol. maybe you can do a better job.

    -- Posted by kd323 on Sun, Sep 7, 2008, at 9:49 PM
  • JUSTMOVEONWILLYA... maybe you should read the rest of the comment I wrote and you will see I was most certainly not being serious when I said to take away the trucks and equip. Maybe that is the problem with a lot of people, they comment before they know the whole story and COMPREHEND.

    -- Posted by WTFRUthinkin on Mon, Sep 8, 2008, at 9:46 AM
  • wow. you know if they keep this up then its not going to matter what fire dept. we have because everyone will have moved out of the town due to the immature actions of the board and the people that used to be on it that can't accept the fact that they no longer have a say in what goes on. I think everyone is extremely tired of being the laughing stock of putnam county. i've lived in cloverdale most of my life, but anymore i'm beginning to think that i don't want to live here anymore. its embarassing! GROW UP and do something productive for the town.

    -- Posted by celticsun1983 on Mon, Sep 8, 2008, at 10:05 AM
  • Cloverdale makes me laugh.

    Grow up.

    -- Posted by mal on Mon, Sep 8, 2008, at 12:04 PM
  • John's house is cursed, its been on fire a few times, caused several people living in it to go crazy, a couple divorces, someone shot themselves in it. I'm sure there's more that the previous owners won't talk about. Maybe its the fumes from across the street?

    -- Posted by rukiddenme on Mon, Sep 8, 2008, at 4:06 PM
  • I live in town and the volunteers beat the town fire fighters to my place when I needed at least 5 minutes.

    John and Judy's problem is that half of their families lost jobs when the town fire department got shut down!

    -- Posted by coldmoosehead on Thu, Sep 11, 2008, at 12:51 PM
Respond to this story

Posting a comment requires free registration: