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Published: Thursday, 3/4/2004

Rossford: Account set up to replace police emergency fund


Rossford has set up a new nonprofit account to replace its Police Emergency Fund.

The Benevolent Command Foundation, which is separate from the city s finances, has its own taxpayer identification number.

“It is set up for the primary benefit of advancing the Rossford Police Department and its personnel and other civic functions,” said Kevin Heben, city prosecutor.

The move comes after former mayor Louie Bauer complained that the old fund mixed public and private money. Last fall, Mayor Bill Verbosky returned a $100 campaign donation check that Police Chief Dennis Foy wrote from the fund, amid complaints that the fund contained public money.

Mr. Heben said that setting up the new foundation was not directly related to the donation issue.

“It didn t really have anything directly to do with Louie and his complaints,” Mr. Heben said.

The new fund won t be used for campaign donations because it isn t registered as a donor.

“This entity has nothing to do with political contributions at all,” Mr. Heben said. He said it was set up for flexibility and management style.

Because the account is separate from the city s finances, requests for money don t have to go through the purchase order system.

Chief Foy said all the money comes from unsolicited donations. Funds are donated back to the community for a variety of causes, such as retirement gifts.

Mr. Heben said that people who want to donate to the police department are asked if they want the money to go to the city or to the foundation.

He said he could think of nothing the funds could be used for that public money couldn t pay for.

Funds in the Police Emergency Fund were frozen, and the police department is waiting to hear from the city about it, Chief Foy said.

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