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Dear Readers …. The BSO-VFD Feud may be ratcheting up….with the story below that just hit the Sentinel online….

LBTS-VFD Battalion Chief John Louvaris stated to the Reporter Linda Trischitta “I’m innocent until proven guilty”…and that is true in a court of law…….but in the court of public opinion this unfortunate incident sure puts the spotlight on more than just him…. All eyes will be on the VFD and the Town to see how they deal with it internally and publicly ….

People are bound to gulp and wonder if this is going to increase the tensions between the VFD and the BSO…. and further divide the town…especially coming so soon after the whole Town Manager Esther Colon-BSO Chief Scott Gooding departure fiasco!….

This writer has made a request for the incident report from the BSO and will post it along with any press releases from the VFD and the Town that are put out…

The Sentinel story…….(link below)…..

‘Fire official arrested in gasoline theft
Lauderdale-by-the-Sea Volunteer Fire Department battalion chief allegedly stole 15 gallons of gasoline, Broward Sheriff’s Office says

OAKLAND PARK – A Lauderdale-by-the-Sea Volunteer Fire Department battalion chief was arrested Tuesday for allegedly stealing 15 gallons of gasoline, the Broward Sheriff’s Office said.

“I’m innocent until proven guilty,” said John Louvaris, 52, when reached on his cell phone Wednesday. He is the third-ranking leader of the fire department. “It’s unbelievable what happened, that’s all I can tell you.”

Louvaris, also described on the sheriff’s report as a mechanic at J&G Auto Service in Oakland Park, was charged with misdemeanor petit theft. He spent the night in jail before paying $25 bond, agency spokesman Mike Jachles said.

According to the report, at 5:40 p.m. Louvaris and another man deputies are still seeking paid $10 for gas for their pickup trucks at Richardson’s BP, at the southwest corner of North Andrews Avenue and Prospect Avenue.

Owner Keith Richardson noticed the two men pass the pump nozzles back and forth, the report states, but from inside the store, the pump appeared to be off. Richardson said he saw one of the men put into a pocket what he thinks was a programming device that state officials, pump mechanics and installers use for inspections and to check gas blends. The device also allows fuel to flow without recording sales inside the station.

Convinced the men were stealing, Richardson says he demanded to be paid, and that he and his son tried to detain both drivers but only stopped Louvaris, the report states. Richardson said he took Louvaris’s keys and two large, leaky plastic containers from the truck and waited for deputies to arrive.Richardson said his family has owned the station since April.

The report said he estimated the alleged theft cost $691 for 95 gallons of fuel and pump maintenance. He told deputies that the other man had eight 12- to 15-gallon containers in his truck and thinks they were filled; Louvaris’s container held 15 gallons of gas worth $43.35.

“It took every dime we could borrow to get this started, and we are working, struggling,” Richardson said of his family’s investment. “For him being a firefighter, isn’t he supposed to serve and protect?”‘,0,5568396.story

more to come….

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