EVL Fire Dept. Vandalism Suspect Due in Town Court Sept. 19
By Jann Wiswall
Morgan Manfreda-Morton is due in Town of Ellicottville court on Monday, Sept. 19 to face vandalism charges.
New York State Police officers from the Machias station arrested Manfreda-Morton, 28, on burglary Third degree and criminal mischief Second degree charges on Friday, Aug. 26. The arrest was made after a State Police investigation revealed that the suspect allegedly “unlawfully entered the Ellicottville Fire Department and slashed the tires of multiple emergency vehicles.” The vandalism occurred on Wednesday, Aug. 24.
Both charges are Class D felonies.
Manfreda-Morton was released on her own recognizance after being arraigned in Town of Ellicottville court on the day of the arrest.
Manfreda-Morton is an emergency medical technician and was a volunteer member of the Ellicottville Fire Department until she was suspended in early July. The reason for her suspension is not known, but is being reviewed by the fire department’s attorney.
She is married to Kevin Morton, who was chief of the fire department until he resigned and turned in his gear in mid-August.
At a Village of Ellicottville Board Meeting on August 8, it was announced that Morton had resigned his job with the Ellicottville Department of Public Works in order to take a new job in another state.
Upon Morton’s resignation from the fire department, Deputy Chief Rob Germain was named acting chief.
Germain said on Tuesday, Aug. 30, that three vehicles were vandalized – an ambulance, a Hummer utility vehicle and a paramedic fly car. All three remained out of service until Monday, Aug. 29, when replacement tires were delivered.
Germain said that other vehicles in the region were made available to answer any emergency calls during that period.
Germain also said that other members of the department have stepped up to fill in for the absence of the two active members. “In fact, the response rate overall has improved,” he said. “People have pulled together.”