Greater Naples Fire Rescue District accused of misusing COVID relief funds

A whistleblower lawsuit is claiming that a fire district misused its COVID-19 relief funds. The Greater Naples Fire Rescue District has been accused of misusing funds that were originally intended to be spent on Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and personnel costs.

The lawsuit filed by the former division Chief Kevin Nelmes does not go into detail about what the funds were actually being used for.

Nelmes claims that he warned the chief that the Greater Naples Fire Rescue District was not using its CARES Act money for “the designated purpose.” However, the chief did not investigate Nelmes’ complaint.

Instead, Greater Naples Fire opened an Internal Affairs on Nelmes and fired him a week later.

Nelmes says he wants his job back, wants all of his benefits to be restored and double back pay.

Greater Naples Fire Rescue District has said nothing yet. They say they have not yet received the lawsuit.

WINK News reached out to Greater Naples Fire, but they declined to comment.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office did not answer an inquiry about whether or not there is an investigation into Greater Naples Fire for CARES Act funding misuse.

Reporter:Amanda Porter
Writer:Drew Hill
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