Dighton Fire Chief Antone Roderick was suspended without pay following a unanimous vote by the Board of Selectmen during a special meeting on Wednesday.

The vote came after irregularities discovered during an audit by the Town Accountant revealed that Roderick had been using part of his more than $1,050 yearly clothing allowance to buy women's clothing.

Selectmen Dean Cronin told ABC6 that Roderick possibly misused thousands of dollars.

"It's going to be a substantial amount," said Cronin.

While the money is a concern, Cronin said the major issue is Roderick's betrayal of the public's trust.

"He has offended not only this board..but the tax payers of this town whether it be 235 dollars, or 235 thousand dollars his trust now has been discredited," said Cronin.

While Selectmen may have been unanimous in their decision to take punitive action against Roderick others like Robert Woods, the former Director of Veterans Services, thinks the chief deserves more of a chance than he's been given.

"It's a crying shame he should have been treated with a little more respect," said Woods "I wouldn't be hounding him until he is proven guilty."

Roderick says the items were for him and that he altered records due to shame at wearing items such as a women's rain coat due to his size.

However, investigators say his girlfriend later admitted that he gave her one of the items.

The Bristol County District Attorney's Office is also charging Roderick with larceny, intimidation of a witness and two counts of public employee standards violation.

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