HUNTINGTON, TX (KTRE) - It's the case of the truck and two fire departments. Both the City of Huntington and the Huntington Volunteer Fire Department say they have rightful ownership of the fire truck, but the attorney for the Huntington VFD says it's a matter of who's done the most work.
"The paperwork was all done by my fire department. My fire department went and picked it up. It's been in their fire station until Judge Inselmann ordered it to go to Huntington for the last eight or nine years," said Holly Perkins Meyers, attorney for the Huntington VFD.
Huntington VFD had until 5 p.m. on June 30th to return the truck, and when they did, its condition caused concern, said City of Huntington VFD Fire Chief Lance Dempsey.
"When we went to get the truck, we did a walk-around. and we noticed that the tail lights, the brake lights, the reverse lights, the marker lights were missing. The siren box that came in the truck from the manufacturer was missing," Dempsey said. "Making it useless."
However, Meyers said the Huntington VFD only removed items from the truck that they purchased on their own.
"And I guess in taking lights out and a radio out, you probably have to disconnect wires, that's what I understand," Meyers said.
She said it's not in Huntington VFD's character to intentionally be malicious.
"Oh no. There's not a malicious bone in any of their bodies," Meyers said.
When it comes to the paperwork, both sides agree that the title gives ownership to the City of Huntington. but Meyers questions why.
"Was the title put in the name of the City of Huntington rather than the Huntington VFD by mistake, omission, I don't want to say fraud, but somehow it didn't get put in the name of the people that ordered it, picked it up, have had it the whole time, and paid the matching funds for it," Meyers said.
If you're asking why can't both sides just get along, you're not alone.
"What needs to happen now, we need to go back to how when Lamar Tinsley was Governor. Everybody worked together," Meyers said.
Dempsey was initially hopeful for a compromise, but he said he now feels differently.
"We were going to start working together to get a better relationship between us and them, but since they did what they did to the truck, I just don't see it happening," Dempsey said.
For now, the truck remains in the City of Huntington's temporary custody. A trial date of July 24th is scheduled to determined the truck's future.