Editorial — Sentence raises more questions than answers

Date Published: 
Nov. 10, 20170

Former Millville Volunteer Fire Company (MVFC) Treasurer Justin Oakley was recently sentenced to six months in jail for stealing nearly $200,000 from the company. Oakley was also ordered to pay restitution in the amount of $5,181.88, which he reportedly did immediately following sentencing on Friday, Nov. 3.

Six months in jail. Pay back $5,181.88. And steal nearly $200,000 from a mostly-volunteer organization, with monies largely raised from members of the public. This was the ultimate slap in the face to our entire community, and especially the MVFC.

Oakley’s attorney argued that his behavior was due to “mental health psychosis” and severe head trauma from a previous accident, and that he wasn’t aware he was doing wrong at the time. It could be argued back that he was able to take several measures to hide his activities, according to reports, but that is for parties more wise than us to determine.

It’s fair to wonder if six months in jail and paying back $5,000 is any kind of deterrent for someone else who might be considering ripping off a community organization and a bunch of citizens who donated to their cause to the tune of $200,000.

This entire situation has left many residents in the area wondering if they could trust the MVFC with their donations. MVFC officials have stated over and over again that their fundraising has been severely negatively impacted, and you can’t blame people for having their doubts after so much money was taken.

This sentence has us wondering if we should have faith in our courts.