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Mar 20, 2018 1:32 PMPublication: The Southampton Press

Hampton Bays Ambulance Board Member Steps Down After Investigation

Hampton Bays Volunterr Ambulance Company. FILE PHOTO
Mar 20, 2018 5:20 PM

The second vice chairwoman of the Board of Directors of the Hampton Bays Volunteer Ambulance Company said she would resign last month after an investigation by Southampton Town officials found two suspicious gasoline purchases she made using the ambulance company’s credit card last year.

Margaret Lamparter’s resignation will take effect April 1, officials said. While she is resigning from the board, she will continue to volunteer for the company.

She did not answer numerous requests for comment this week.

In addition, an "overlapping investigation" found that Alexander Papajohn, the chairman of the board, purchased a television for his personal use with an ambulance company credit card.

The investigation, led by Southampton Town Attorney James Burke, found that Mr. Papajohn had purchased two televisions at P.C. Richard & Son for approximately $180 each. One of the televisions was given away in an ambulance company fundraising raffle. At the time Mr. Papajohn had offered to pay for the second television however he was critized by ambulance volunteers for not paying sales tax, according to Southampton Town Supervisor Jay Schneiderman.

Mr. Papajohn has since reimbursed the company for the cost of the television including sales tax, according to Mr. Schneiderman. No additional action was taken.

Mr. Papajohn, likewise, did not answer multiple requests for comment.

Mr. Burke conducted the six-month investigation after ambulance volunteers questioned Ms. Lamparter’s credit card usage, he said. The town conducted the investigation because the Town Board oversees the budget and finances of the Ponquogue Avenue ambulance company, which responds to approximately 1,600 emergency calls annually.

Mr. Schneiderman said last week that the allegations proved false, noting that the investigation didn’t show anything other than the two gasoline purchases—which officials couldn’t say for sure were not for company use. “There was an allegation that the card was used to put some gas in a vehicle,” Mr. Schneiderman said. “I can’t say that was for ambulance purposes or not.”

“It is somewhat disputed as to whether all of the gasoline purchases were done for district purposes or not, even though the vehicle used was a district vehicle,” Mr. Burke wrote in an email this week.

Mr. Schneiderman added that it was not unusual for ambulance volunteers to put gas in the company’s vehicles while on duty.

Ms. Lamparter, who has served as a member of the ambulance company since 2013, decided to resign from the board immediately following a series of meetings between town and ambulance officials, the last of which was held nearly a month ago, according to Mr. Burke.

Mr. Schneiderman attributed Ms. Lamparter’s resignation to personal reasons. However, Mr. Burke said that the accusations made against her may have played a role in her decision to step down.

“I would say it’s a possibility of it,” Mr. Burke said. “She has some very strong supporters and some detractors.”

Mr. Burke explained that the company’s board of directors will hold a special election to fill Ms. Lamparter’s seat; however, he was unsure when that would occur.

He also added that the town is currently seeking bids to perform an outside audit of the ambulance district finances, a practice that could be extended to all of the ambulance districts serving the town.

“While I personally have great respect for the volunteers who dedicate their time and effort by answering emergency calls in the middle of the night, obviously, proper procedures and rules must be adhered to,” the town attorney said.

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If found guilty they should not even be allowed to volunteer at the HBA.
By Resident tax (182), Hampton bays ny on Mar 20, 18 2:14 PM
No cops no charges? Reminds me of the girl who stole at the police station they transferred her to town hall. Never fired lol
By chief1 (2782), southampton on Mar 20, 18 2:24 PM
It's stealing. Can we just call this what it is?
By Pacman (270), Southampton on Mar 20, 18 3:57 PM
2 members liked this comment
No one mentioned that Margaret and Alex are a couple and live together......hmmm
By HBGuy (14), Hampton Bays on Mar 20, 18 4:22 PM
This comment has been removed because it is a duplicate, off-topic or contains inappropriate content.
By HBGuy (14), Hampton Bays on Mar 20, 18 4:22 PM
This comment has been removed because it is a duplicate, off-topic or contains inappropriate content.
By Pacman (270), Southampton on Mar 20, 18 4:26 PM
This comment has been removed because it is a duplicate, off-topic or contains inappropriate content.
By Pacman (270), Southampton on Mar 20, 18 4:50 PM
Since when does a tv cost $180? A zero missing perhaps?
By local resident 10 (19), SOUTHAMPTON on Mar 20, 18 5:11 PM
We’re going to hang people who actually volunteer their time over a couple hundred bucks, while we have village/town board members, getting paid a salary, who abuse their power to enrich their family members for hundreds of thousands??
By Brandon Quinn (191), Hampton Bays on Mar 20, 18 5:32 PM
2 members liked this comment
Betraying the public trust is worthy of hanging regardless of the amounts involved.
By dnice (2346), Hampton Bays on Mar 21, 18 9:34 AM
1 member liked this comment
Historically speaking, we've hanged people for less.
By Fore1gnBornHBgrown (7955), HAMPTON BAYS on Mar 21, 18 9:41 AM
1 member liked this comment
Small TV for $180 bucks. What else haven't they come across? Sounds like audit time.
By 1640sWhaler (74), Sag Harbor/Easthampton on Mar 20, 18 7:38 PM
1 member liked this comment
I would start with an inventory of the pharmaceutical products used in the service.
By dfree (799), hampton bays on Mar 20, 18 7:43 PM
This comment has been removed because it is a duplicate, off-topic or contains inappropriate content.
By dfree (799), hampton bays on Mar 20, 18 7:48 PM
1 member liked this comment
This comment has been removed because it is a duplicate, off-topic or contains inappropriate content.
By Pacman (270), Southampton on Mar 20, 18 9:09 PM
Would you like an individual with this background entering your home?.Is there a background check before allowing an individual to volunteer for this department?
By watchdog1 (542), Southampton on Mar 21, 18 6:01 AM
1 member liked this comment
This comment has been removed because it is a duplicate, off-topic or contains inappropriate content.
By Babyboo (292), Hampton Bays on Mar 21, 18 7:13 AM
1 member liked this comment
This comment has been removed because it is a duplicate, off-topic or contains inappropriate content.
By dfree (799), hampton bays on Mar 21, 18 10:17 AM
This comment has been removed because it is a duplicate, off-topic or contains inappropriate content.
By dfree (799), hampton bays on Mar 21, 18 10:20 AM
Department manager from a eastern FD stole thousands, paid it back [ how and was it all]. Was put on probation, she was a good person, SHE stole public money...
How you trust that person in a house? I worked for a utility and was bonded. TRUST
By knitter (1890), Southampton on Mar 21, 18 12:34 PM
I think that all tax payer funded sevice's should be audited. Ambulance, Fire Departments, as well as park districts & libraries. We are all paying for it, so it would be nice to see annual reporting and oversight.
By North Sea Citizen (564), North Sea on Mar 21, 18 3:26 PM
This sounds like the idea to require benefits recipients to take drug tests.

It sounds like it'd result in savings, but in reality it costs more money than it saves us.
By Fore1gnBornHBgrown (7955), HAMPTON BAYS on Mar 22, 18 9:49 AM
If the ones paying for the free stuff have to be drug tested, it seems only right that the recipients do the same.
By bigfresh (4587), north sea on Mar 22, 18 10:03 AM
Even if it costs the taxpayer more than the alternative?

Seems like a malicious way to harm drug users, not a means of saving tax dollars.
Mar 22, 18 10:07 AM appended by Fore1gnBornHBgrown
Also, not every taxpayer gets drug tested either.
By Fore1gnBornHBgrown (7955), HAMPTON BAYS on Mar 22, 18 10:07 AM
This comment has been removed because it is a duplicate, off-topic or contains inappropriate content.
By Babyboo (292), Hampton Bays on Mar 21, 18 3:59 PM
4 members liked this comment
Google "Margaret Lamparter" and "AKA". Just saying.
By dfree (799), hampton bays on Mar 22, 18 9:09 AM
Good call dfree !
By toes in the water (884), southampton on Mar 23, 18 6:59 AM
1 member liked this comment
Sounds all good, but This Town lets the Ambulance Corps to self audit, while tweaking those audits. The Town (if they want to really show transparency) should designate an outside auditing firm, better yet NYS Comptroller.., (Remember HBFD & Trustees). This Town has heard many, many reports of misconduct from members/people/public but it never takes any action. These Corps have a "contract" to perform a service for a tax levy. Where's the Towns report card on their services?, There is none, shame ...more
By The Crow's Nest (65), Red Creek on Mar 22, 18 10:21 AM
1 member liked this comment
Will the HBVAC Treasurer be punished for not knowing this was going on under her watch?
By Pacman (270), Southampton on Mar 22, 18 10:38 AM
1 member liked this comment
Just to be clear, am I correctly understanding that what "was going on" was that a company credit card was used to put gas into a company vehicle two times but it was unclear whether that gas was used for company purposes?
By Fore1gnBornHBgrown (7955), HAMPTON BAYS on Mar 22, 18 11:37 AM
There was more listed in the original article, seems like it's been edited by 27E.
By Pacman (270), Southampton on Mar 22, 18 2:01 PM
1 member liked this comment
For some reason I skimmed over the TV thing. When's THAT guy resigning?
By Fore1gnBornHBgrown (7955), HAMPTON BAYS on Mar 22, 18 2:22 PM
The use of ambulance funds to buy a TV set as well. Although apparently when caught, the money was returned. Except for the sales tax on the TV. Which, when caught, was returned.
By dfree (799), hampton bays on Mar 22, 18 12:48 PM
1 member liked this comment
I failed to realize Mr. Papajohn's appropriation of the TV was far more egregious than the gas issue. Where's HIS resignation?
By Fore1gnBornHBgrown (7955), HAMPTON BAYS on Mar 22, 18 2:08 PM
This comment has been removed because it is a duplicate, off-topic or contains inappropriate content.
By Babyboo (292), Hampton Bays on Mar 22, 18 3:28 PM
1 member liked this comment
You had one x and one current school board member arrested for stealing major money and no jail no felonies and one swept under the rug.
By chief1 (2782), southampton on Mar 23, 18 9:15 AM
Chief: who is the current school board member arrested for stealing money? I was unaware of this -- are you referring to the 9/11 scholarship fund theft? Or something else?
By dfree (799), hampton bays on Mar 23, 18 9:46 AM
http://www.27east.com/news/article.cfm/Hampton-Bays/163356/
The Hampton Bays School Board now has one vacancy after Chris Catz, sentenced last week for stealing more than $16,500 in loose coins from his former employer, formally resigned from the board last Thursday, August 21.

Mr. Catz stepped down after being sentenced to a three-year conditional discharge last week for stealing money from Verizon Communications. He was terminated from his post after the thefts were discovered.

Now ...more
By dfree (799), hampton bays on Mar 24, 18 10:31 PM
1 member liked this comment
http://www.27east.com/news/article.cfm/Hampton-Bays/478946/Former-Hampton-Bays-School-Board-Member-Pleading-Guilty-Friday-For-Looting-Scholarship-Fund
A former Hampton Bays Board of Education member is expected to plead guilty Friday to second-degree grand larceny, a felony, for stealing nearly $55,000 from a scholarship fund that he helped create more than a decade earlier to honor the memory of his best friend, who was killed in the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001.

Warren ...more
By dfree (799), hampton bays on Mar 24, 18 10:43 PM
2 members liked this comment
This comment has been removed because it is a duplicate, off-topic or contains inappropriate content.
By PRUDENTIAL1 (3), HAMPTON BAYS on Mar 25, 18 10:21 PM
Are all these people bonded to go into peoples houses?



By knitter (1890), Southampton on Mar 26, 18 11:38 AM
1 member liked this comment
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