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Charge dropped against Oakfield firefighter accused of stealing water from village

A 42-year veteran of the Oakfield Volunteer Fire Department, who was accused earlier this month of stealing water from the Village of Oakfield, has been cleared of the charge.

Robert Augustus Hilchey, 60, of North Pearl Street, Oakfield, said that Town Justice Thomas Graham called him at 11 a.m. and informed him all charges have been dropped and that the court records on the case have been sealed.

Hilchey shared a copy of an e-mail sent by Assistant District Attorney Will Zickl to Graham asking that the charge be dismissed.

"Based upon information our office has received from the Village of Oakfield, the people request that the charge in the above captioned case be dismissed," Zickl wrote in the e-mail.

Hilchey was accused of theft of services on the belief that he had attached a new valve to the fire department's water system that allowed water to be diverted before it reached the water meter.

In a message sent to The Batavian today, Hilchey said he made repairs that were approved by the fire department board.

"I repaired two valves," he said. "At no time did I add an additional line before the meter. We had one garden hose bib and we still have one garden hose bib."

Last week, the fire department board shared an open letter to the village asking that the charges against Hilchey being dropped, saying that Hilchey had acted at the behest of the board.

Doug Yeomans
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I find it pathetic that charges were ever filed in the first place. The situation could've been resolved without someone being accused of a crime. When charges are levied against an innocent person, it's tough to ever shake that off. I'm glad to hear the charges were dropped.

Irene Will
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Joined: Feb 2 2009

Hallelujah. About time.

Raymond Richardson
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Sounds like someone on the town board is looking to improve their public image at the cost of an innocent's reputation as an upstanding citizen.

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