O.B. fire department employees asked to preserve records

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An Oak Bluffs ambulance on a Steamship Authority Boat heading back to the Island. Oak Bluffs had to credit back $37,000 in reimbursement claims after overcharging Medicare and Medicaid through its ambulance billing company Comstar. — Brian Dowd

In the midst of an ongoing FBI inquiry into the Oak Bluffs Fire Department, town administrator Robert Whritenour has asked all fire department employees to preserve any and all documents “pertaining to the Oak Bluffs Fire Department, including Oak Bluffs EMS.”

Whritenour asked employees to save all paper documents and all electronic documents, including texts, emails, Twitter, Facebook, Snapchat, or other social media communications that mention or relate somehow to the fire department. 

“Bottom line: Please be sure to preserve all documents related to OBFD for the foreseeable future,” the email says.

The fire department is at the center of a mysterious FBI investigation, which will include members of the department, who have been subpoenaed, going before a federal grand jury on Jan. 21. It also comes as the town agreed to pay a combined $37,535.07 in Medicare and Medicaid reimbursements it allegedly overcharged.

The email goes on to say the town may be reaching out to fire department employees in connection to “several active projects in which we’re engaged.”

Speaking to The Times Friday, Whritenour said the town was taking a “prudent step.”

“We’re trying to take the strongest steps to make sure we are partners in that process,” Whritenour said. “These are matters of great concern.”